D-ID, the Israeli company that uses artificial intelligence to create unique, viral experiences like “Deep Nostalgia,” which animates the faces of long-lost relatives in your old photos, today announced the raising of a $ Series B funding round. 25 million. by Macquarie Capital. The additional funds come shortly after D-ID’s recent launch of its Deep Nostalgia follow-up project, LiveStory, which adds audio to the animated photos, allowing the people in the photos to tell their own life stories.

The company also recently announced plans to launch its own AI-powered video greeting mobile app, Wishful.

Deep Nostalgia and LiveStory, both collaborations with MyHeritage, helped put D-ID’s name on the map as the resulting animations went viral on social media platforms like TikTok, thanks to users sharing their emotional reactions to seeing their loved ones again in this new format. The MyHeritage mobile app is a testament to D-ID’s success here, with a 4.8-star rating in some 42,300 user reviews – many of them praising the AI-powered animations. To date, Deep Nostalgia alone has created nearly 100 million animations, the company said.

Earlier this month, D-ID expanded Deep Nostalgia technology to make the people in the animated photos “speak” by training a neural network using videos of people talking, to match the lips in the photos with the words provided by the users. While this technology isn’t quite advanced enough to break into deepfake territory, it’s akin to really good lip syncing — or that’s how the company put it at the time.

However, D-ID’s broader business extends beyond consumer technology partnerships, such as those with MyHeritage or, in India, the short video app Josh, which used D-ID’s facial animation technology as a creative tool. Elsewhere, D-IDs APIs have been used by a range of licensees in media, education, marketing, and more. It has collaborated with Warner Bros. to allow users to personalize a movie trailer with animated photos and for a Harry Potter exhibit. Mondelēz International, advertising agency Publicis and Digitas Vietnam collaborated with D-ID on marketing efforts for a local festival. The company also partnered with nonprofits and governments in awareness campaigns on topics such as domestic violence and HIV awareness.

As a private company, D-ID doesn’t discuss its sales figures, but it said it is growing rapidly and has many more customers in the pipeline. This year in particular, the company expects significant growth, notes D-ID co-founder and CEO Gil Perry. The funds will help do that by enabling the current 33-strong company to staff its sales and marketing teams in the US, APAC and EMEA regions, he said. In addition, D-ID also wants to double the number of experts in its deep learning and computer vision teams.

The main drivers of the company’s growth come from enterprise customers, particularly in the US, Perry told TechCrunch. In this market, D-ID is now seeing a large number of its API calls, related to creating AI-powered videos created using its technology.

“Over the past year, we have witnessed the skyrocketing success of our technology across so many applications and industries, with the power to generate so much good,” said Perry. “We are incredibly grateful for this new round of funding and strong partnership with Macquarie, which will enable us to take our business and technology to the next level. We are excited about what the future has in store.”

In addition to AI-powered video, D-ID is also developing technologies for the metaverse. It partners with VR/AR platform maker The Glimpse Group to help develop AI, AR and VR applications for the metaverse.

“We’re always looking five to ten years ahead and we were much more aware of the metaverse – and we understand our capabilities [to be ahead of] other startups and the tech giants in this particular field,” said Perry in a recent interview. “What we plan to do is start building full-body reenactment in 3D. … Two, we’ll do it fast.”

Perry believes avatars need further development to become more realistic in order to get the metaverse off the ground. They have to “look at each other, behave, move and interact in a super realistic way,” he said. In the future, he envisions how users could enter the metaverse to not only chat with their past relatives, but also meet and interact with famous figures – such as schoolchildren who ask Albert Einstein questions and speak to him in their own language. to react. “This is where D-ID is going.”

In addition to the existing partnerships, Perry said D-ID is also in talks with many “tech giants” but couldn’t give exact names as discussions are ongoing. “We’re at an advanced stage with strategic players — leading technology giants from the phone manufacturers, cameras, social networks, video conferencing in the music industry and the like,” hinted Perry.

Macquarie in the Series B round is joined by investments from Pitango, AXA, OurCrowd, OIF, Maverick and Marubeni, bringing D-ID’s total revenue to date to $48 million.

“Our goal is to empower people to innovate and invest for a better future. D-ID helps us envision that future,” said David Standen, Global Co-Head of Macquarie Capital Venture Capital Group, in a statement. “We are delighted to be acquainted with this fast-growing industry. This technology offers so many applications in such a wide variety of industries. They are true pioneers in a pioneering market. We know this is just the beginning for D-ID and Macquarie.”

This post AI creative platform D-ID, the technology behind those viral videos of animated family photos, raises $25 million – TechCrunch

was original published at “https://techcrunch.com/2022/03/22/a-i-creative-platform-d-id-the-tech-behind-those-viral-videos-of-animated-family-photos-raises-25m/”