Synthesia Joins Unicorn Club Amid Flurry of AI Investments

British generative AI firm Synthesia has become a “unicorn” after raising $90 million.

The company announced the Series C funding on its LinkedIn page Tuesday (June 13), saying the financing had raised its valuation north of $1 billion.

“Back in 2017, no one really understood our vision,” the post said. “When Victor and Steffen first used the term ‘generative video,’ people just didn’t get it, and they even switched to ‘synthetic video’ in their presentations.”

Six years later, the company — co-founded by Victor RiparbelliSteffen TjerrildMatthias Niessner and Lourdes Agapito – has 50,000 clients amid a boom in generative artificial intelligence (AI).

“With the new funding, we will continue to revolutionize video production and push the boundaries of what’s possible,” the company said.

Synthesia’s funding comes as venture capital (VC) firms are pumping hundreds of millions into the video AI sector. A report last month by Bloomberg News, citing Pitchbook data, noted that VC companies invested $187.7 million into the sector in 2022 — up from $1 million in 2017.

Synthesia was among the beneficiaries of this wave of investments, along with Runway, a New York company that uses AI to generate images and video, splice together content and edit according to prompts, and Deep Voodoo, a startup launched by South Park’s creators that raised $20 million last year.

Meanwhile, PYMNTS noted Tuesday that generative AI has begun changing how consumers interact with brands, “bringing customer service to its next horizon with the ability to detect emotion, offer advice, complete entire transactions, and otherwise stop people from repeatedly yelling ‘representative’ into their phones.”

For example, Salesforce this week debuted its new AI Cloud and underlying Einstein GPT tool, explaining in a press release that the solution “will enable sales reps to quickly auto-generate personalized emails tailored to their customer’s needs,” while letting service teams auto-generate personalized agent chat replies and case summaries. 

And on Tuesday, digital workflow platform ServiceNow announced its Now Assist for Virtual Agent, being piloted ahead of a wider launch in September.

“We’re building generative AI into our platform so customers can maximize their ROI: ‘return on intelligence,’” ServiceNow Chairman and CEO Bill McDermott said. “This is all about thoughtful, high-trust co-innovation as we find the balance between machine speed and human judgment.”