Pika CEO Demi Guo (left) with co-founder and CTO Chenlin Meng
Pika, a startup of two Stanford Ph.D. students in computer science, recently raised $55 million in funding. The company’s main service is to generate animated videos from text with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
Demi Guo, the CEO, and Chenlin Meng, the CTO, are classmates and friends, and they started experimenting with this technology during last year’s winter vacation, and at first they just wanted to submit a video work to an “AI film festival” sponsored by a company, but unfortunately they were not selected. But because of this opportunity, they discovered the technical barriers of video production for non-professionals and decided to overcome this problem.
In April, they dropped out of Stanford University to launch Pika, with the intention of building an easy-to-use, AI-powered video generator that would allow ordinary people to express their creativity, and awareness of its use has skyrocketed since it was publicly released online.
Nat Friedman, one of the leading individual investors in AI, made the first two rounds of investment, and the latest round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners “The biggest weapon and biggest advantage of a startup is speed, and honestly, it’s the fastest team I’ve ever seen.” The company’s CEO says she plans to expand Pika’s team to around 20 people next year, most of whom are engineers and researchers.