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AI video creation app Captions bags $25M from top VCs

Bynewsmagzines

Jun 22, 2023
AI video creation app Captions bags $25M from top VCs

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Captions, an AI-powered video creation app for iOS that launched in 2021 and counted over three million users to date, today announced its $25 million in Series B funding led by Kleiner Perkins with additional funding provided by Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), and SV Angel.

The company has now raised a total $40 million. It was founded by Gaurav Misra, former head of design engineering at Snap and a former software development engineer (II) at Microsoft.

Captions initially carved its niche as a camera application catering to “talking videos”, where creators engage with the camera directly. In conjunction with its funding announcement, the company has announced a rebranding and new look that Misra wrote in a blog post “we believe properly represents the defining characteristics of Captions.”

Those characteristics include a number of features, from AI-powered redubbing of a speaker’s words into another language while maintaining the sound of their voice, to human-like AI voiceovers, to AI powered short clip production from a longer piece of video, to unique, original, AI-created, royalty-free music for videos.

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Evolving from its roots, Captions has since become a holistic creative suite, leading the charge in transforming content creation through state-of-the-art AI functionalities, leveraging OpenAI’s GPT-4 large language model (LLM) and an AI Eye Contact feature developed with Nvidia.

“We recognized the need among creators using teleprompters and off-screen scripts and collaborated with Nvidia to develop the eye contact correction feature specifically for this use case,” said Gaurav Misra, Captions’ co-founder and CEO, in statement provided to VentureBeat via spokesperson. “Upon its launch earlier this year, it became an instant hit, and now many other companies are developing similar technology inspired by Captions.”

The AI adjusts a video host’s gaze in realtime, creating the illusion that they are making eye contact with the camera.

While Captions is essentially consumer-focused, it has garnered traction among business users as well, especially those involved in social media management, content marketing, and growth marketing.

The platform appeals to a diverse audience including, but not limited to, influencers, realtors, fitness trainers, musicians, and sales professionals.

Notable accounts utilizing Captions include the Disney-owned sports network ESPN and its commentator Omar Raja, Mr. Wonderful of Shark Tank fame, Twitch’s founder Justin Kan, and the influencer Unnecessary Inventions.

Everett Randle, a partner at Kleiner Perkins, lauded Captions stating, “AI is redefining how digital products are created, and Captions has emerged as the leading AI-powered platform for video content. Millions of users have already leveraged it to tell their stories and engage audiences. Gaurav and the Captions team have deep empathy for and understanding of creators from their time at Snap that we believe is critical in building within this new era of AI-enabled product development. We’re thrilled to lead Captions’ Series B and support the creation of the AI-powered creative studio.”

Mike Vernal from Sequoia Capital also heaped praise on Misra and Captions in a statement, writing: “Captions use of AI for video production has the potential to revolutionize the studio experience for today’s creator economy. The user enthusiasm and loyalty Captions has experienced this early on is a clear indication of their future success.”

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