Synthesia is Now a Unicorn as Series C Values Multilingual Avatar Platform at USD 1bn

Synthesia Series C

On June 13, 2023, multilingual AI video generation platform Synthesia announced it raised USD 90m in a series C round

The round was led by venture capital firm Accel. US-based NVIDIA came on board as a new investor, while the company’s existing investors, Kleiner Perkins, GV, and Firstmark Capital also participated. 

As reported by CNBC, Synthesia’s latest raise has propelled the company to a billion-dollar valuation. It now joins the UK’s unicorn club, which includes the likes of digital bank Revolut, conferencing platform Hopin, and food delivery company Gousto.  

Synthesia was founded in 2017 by entrepreneurs Victor Riparbelli (CEO) and Steffen Tjerrild (COO / CFO) along with computer vision professors Matthias Niessner and Lourdes Agapito. 

The startup went on to raise USD 3.1m in seed money in April 2019 and followed up with a series A raise of USD 12.5m two years later. Synthesia’s series B round in late 2021 netted the company an additional USD 50m, while its series C brings the total funds raised to date to more than USD 155m.

Riparbelli discussed the strategic investment from NVIDIA in the announcement, writing, “We’re already happy customers and, as we make additional progress towards training large AI models, NVIDIA’s expertise will be incredibly valuable to our AI research efforts.” 

Multilingual Voices for AI Avatars

Synthesia’s central idea is to allow its customers to create digital avatars of themselves. Users provide a script for the AI-generated avatars to then speak aloud, in a language of their choosing.

The company’s premise is that corporate communication, such as training sessions and presentations, is better delivered (and received) via video than in text form. AI avatars are a significantly cheaper alternative to traditional video production.

“Our corporate customers can now share and directly collaborate on their videos with 3rd-party translation agencies inside the Synthesia platform.” — Victor Riparbelli, CEO, Synthesia

Riparbelli joined SlatorPod in June 2021 to discuss how Synthesia supports video creation in more than 40 languages. Now, Riparbelli told Slator, “videos created with Synthesia can easily be turned into more than 120 languages, and most of the languages support several accents.”

Outlining other new product developments, Riparbelli said Synthesia has recently introduced a feature whereby customers can get AI-generated scripts, in any of the languages supported, by specifying a certain topic and audience.

The company is also currently “working on an AI-powered one-click translate option for all videos, which will help companies with simple translation needs,” he said. Meanwhile, “for more advanced translation needs, our corporate customers can now share and directly collaborate on their videos with 3rd-party translation agencies inside the Synthesia platform.” 

According to Riparbelli, Synthesia now has more than 200 staff and more than 50,000 business customers on the platform including one-third of the Fortune 100. 

Although revenue figures were not disclosed, the company told CNBC that more than 12 million videos have now been produced on the platform since its launch, and that the user numbers increased by more than 400% year on year, leading to growth consistently in the triple digits.

Riparbelli said Synthesia will use the funds to “double down on our AI research and further build out our collaborative video editing platform.” Philippe Botteri from Accel will join Synthesia’s board of directors.