The excitement around generative AI continues to grow, and the latest evidence is Pika, a startup specializing in AI-powered video editing and generation. The company has just announced that it has raised $55 million in a funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from 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 funding comes just six months after Pika emerged from stealth mode, coinciding with the early access launch of “Pika 1.0,” a suite of videography tools introducing a generative AI model capable of editing videos in various styles, such as “3D animation,” “anime,” and “cinematic.”
According to a post on its website, Pika has quickly built a community of half a million users, who are generating millions of videos per week using its platform.
Pika was co-founded by Demi Guo and Chenlin Meng, both former Ph.D. students in Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Lab. Guo previously worked as an engineer at Meta’s AI research division, while Meng co-authored several AI research papers, including ones related to generative AI.
Pika’s advancements with “Pika 1.0” put it in direct competition with other generative AI video tools and models, such as those offered by Runway and Stability AI.
One of the standout features of Pika 1.0 is its tool that can lengthen existing videos or transform them into different styles, like “live action” to “animated.” Additionally, it includes a module for editing video content using AI, such as changing clothing or adding characters.
Lightspeed, an investor in both Pika and Stability AI, expressed confidence in Pika’s platform, despite competition from tech giants like Google and Meta, which are also working on generative AI tools for video.
Lightspeed’s Michael Mignano praised Pika for its technical foundation and expressed excitement about the company’s mission to make professional-quality video creation accessible to everyone through generative AI.
The growing demand for generative AI is evident, with IDC projecting a significant increase in investments in this technology over the next few years. However, challenges related to deploying generative AI in enterprise settings, including unexpected outcomes, security, fairness, and legal concerns, are still prevalent.
Despite these challenges, Pika’s rapid growth and the widespread use of generative AI among younger demographics demonstrate the potential for this technology to transform various industries.