About a week after Stability AI announced Stable Diffusion Video, laying the groundwork for AI text-to-video generators, AI startup Pika Labs has announced that it has raised $55 million to push its competing generative video platform further.
Alongside the funding, Pika has also announced Pika 1.0, which the company says is “a major product upgrade that includes a new AI model capable of generating and editing videos in diverse styles such as 3D animation, anime, cartoon and cinematic, and a new web experience that makes it easier to use.”
As TechCrunch reports, Pika was co-founded by Demi Guo and Chenlin Meng, who are both former Ph.D. students in Stanford University’s renowned Artificial Intelligence Lab. Guo previously worked at Meta in its AI research division, and Meng has written several academic research papers on generative AI technology.
Of its new round of funding, Pika Labs writes:
We are also excited to announce our fundraising milestones: we have raised $55 million, initiated with pre-seed and seed rounds led by Nat Friedman & Daniel Gross, and our Series A round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Our investors also include Elad Gil, Adam D’Angelo (Founder and CEO of Quora), Andrej Karpathy, Clem Delangue (Co-Founder and CEO of Hugging Face and Partner at Factorial Capital), Craig Kallman (CEO of Atlantic Records), Alex Chung (Co-Founder of Giphy), Aravind Srinivas (CEO of Perplexity), Mateusz Staniszewski (CEO of ElevenLabs), and Keith Peiris (CEO of Tome), as well as venture firms such as Homebrew, Conviction Capital, SV Angel, and Ben’s Bites, alongside many other esteemed industry leaders and AI experts.
Despite being pre-release for the last six months, Pika’s roughly half a million users have generated “millions of videos per week.” The user base and content output should only increase with the launch of Pika 1.0. Interested parties can join the waitlist for the app now on Pika’s website.
“Video is at the heart of entertainment, yet the process of making high-quality videos to date is still complicated and resource-intensive,” writes Pika Labs. “When we started Pika six months ago, we wanted to push the boundaries of technology and design a future interface of video making that is effortless and accessible to everyone.”
The early days of generative AI images were somewhat underwhelming, but the technology has improved with rapidity rarely seen in the technology space. Generative video may see a similar rate of improvement despite being much more resource-intensive than creating photos. However, even the video above, which Pika Labs published three months ago, long before version 1.0 was released, shows some promise for generative video technology.