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Generative AI firm Synthesia raises £71.4m at unicorn valuation

Image credit: Synthesia

Generative AI firm Synthesia, which creates realistic human avatars that deliver presentations, has raised $90m (£71.4m) and landed a $1bn unicorn valuation.

The London-based firm has been one of the UK’s fastest-growing in the generative AI sector, which has exploded in popularity since the launch of ChatGPT in November.

The hefty Series C round was led by Accel and included an investment from NVIDIA’s venture capital arm NVentures, as well as Kleiner Perkins, GV and Firstmark Capital.

“We’ve made great strides towards our vision to make video easy for everyone, but there’s still a long way to go,” said Synthesia co-founder and CEO Victor Riparbelli.

“I’m proud of our team for building Synthesia into a sustainable company that today delivers real business utility, not just novelty, for our thousands of customers.”

Riparbelli said that while the firm wasn’t “actively looking for new investment”, he felt Synthesia and its new investors had a shared vision for “transforming traditional video production into a digital workflow”.

Founded in 2017, the primary use for Synthesia is to produce enterprise videos, including workplace training and corporate presentations.

“From our first meeting, Synthesia stood out as one of the few generative AI companies combining a differentiated technology, an exceptional founding team, and a very strong ROI for its enterprise customers,” said Philippe Botteri, a partner at Accel.

“By dramatically lowering the cost and production time of videos, Synthesia is opening a new range of use cases for corporate training, marketing, and communication videos. With their research team constantly pushing the limits of AI video generation, I could not be more excited about our investment in the company.”

While Synthesia is proving itself to be one of the UK’s AI success stories, it has not completely avoided controversy. In March, it emerged that technology developed by Synthesia had been misused to produce video propaganda in Venezuela.

A spokesperson for the company said at the time: “We have strict guidelines for which type of content we allow to be created on our platform. We enforce our terms of service and ban users who breach them.”

In April, Business Insider first reported that Synthesia was in talks with investors to raise additional cash. Full details of the Series C round were first reported by CNBC.