The generative AI hype hasn’t died down.
Case in point, Pika Labsa startup that creates an AI-powered platform to edit and create videos from captions and still images, today announced that it has raised $55 million in a funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with participation from of Homebrew, Conviction Capital, SV Angel, Ben’s Bites and notable angel investors including Quora founder Adam D’Angelo, ex-GitHub CEO Nat Friedman and Giphy co-founder Alex Chung.
The new tranche comes just six months after Pika came out of hiding and coincides with the early access launch of what Pika calls “Pika 1.0,” a new suite of videography tools that introduce of a generative AI model capable of editing videos in different styles, such as “3D animation,” “anime” and “cinematic.”
“Video is at the center of entertainment, but the process of creating high-quality videos is still complex and resource-intensive,” Pika wrote in a blog post published on its website this morning. “When we started Pika six months ago, we wanted to push the boundaries of technology and design the future video creation interface that was effortless and accessible to everyone. Since then, we’ve been proud to grow the Pika community to half a million users, producing millions of videos every week.
Pika was founded by Demi Guo and Chenlin Meng, both former Ph.D. students at Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Lab. Before studying at Stanford, Guo worked as an engineer in Meta’s AI research division, while Meng co-authored several AI research papers including some related to generative AI.
Pika competes against generative AI video tools and models from the likes of Runway and Stability AI. But with Pika 1.0, Pika ups its game with a lot of different features.
For example, Pika 1.0 ships with a tool that can extend the length of existing videos or change them to different styles, such as “live action” to “animated” — or expand the canvas or aspect. ratio of a video. Another module edits video content using AI, such as changing someone’s clothes or even adding a character.
We should put those capabilities to the test once Pika 1.0 becomes widely available. But for what it’s worth, Lightspeed — which is also an investor in Stability AI — have confidence in the platform.
“Like other new AI products created for text and images, professional-quality video production can also be democratized by generative AI. We believe that Pika will lead the change,” said Michael Mignano of Lightspeed in a press release. “With an impressive technical foundation, rooted in an early passion for creativity, the Pika team seems destined to change how we all share our visual story. At Lightspeed, we couldn’t be more excited to support their mission to enable anyone to bring their creative vision to life through video, and we’re excited to invest alongside other amazing investors mainly in AI.
To date, Pika Labs has raised nearly $61 million, including a $5 round in April led by Friedman.