Published On: Wed, Dec 16th, 2020

Reface grabs $5.5M seed led by A16z to stoke the viral face-swap video app

Buzzy face-swap video app Reface, that lends users luminary ‘superpowers’ by branch their selfies into “eerily realistic” famous video clips during a daub of a button, has held a courtesy of Andreessen Horowitz. The Silicon Valley try organisation leads a $5.5 million seed turn in a low tech party startup, announced today.

Reface tells us a apps (iOS and Android) have been downloaded some 70 million times given it launched in Jan 2020 — adult from 20M when we spoke to one of a (seven) co-founders behind in August. It’s also achieved ‘top five’ heading app standing in around 100 countries, a US enclosed — as good as bagging a ‘top app’ endowment in a annual Google Play best of. Quite a year, then.

That kind of viral expansion shave has been branch heads all over a place. As good as nabbing a16z for a seed lead, Reface has pulled in appropriation from a series of distinguished angel investors opposite a gaming, music, film/content origination and tech industries. 

This includes — from a gaming attention — Ilkka Paananen, CEO of Supercell; and David Helgason, owner of Unity Technologies. From a universe of music: Scooter Braun (managing partner of TQ Ventures, famous for handling tip cocktail stars like Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande); and Adam Leber, a manager to Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus, and an Uber investor. 

On a film/content origination side a angels embody Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and Peter Serafinowicz (via Deep Voodoo); Bryan Baum and Michael Kives, owner of K5 Global (whose clients have enclosed a likes of Bruce Willis, Jesse Eisenberg and Eric Stonestreet); and Natalia Vodianova, a model, philanthropist, and actress.

Tech attention investors fasten a turn as angels are: Josh Elman (ex-investment partner during Greylock and on a play of Medium, Operator, Musical.ly and Jelly); and Sriram Krishnan (investor and former product lead during Microsoft, Facebook, Snap and Twitter).

It’s a kind of broad-based fad that can be generated when prohibited trend streams like ‘no code’ and viral amicable video get crossed. (At slightest if, like a rubbery face mask, we widen a clarification of ‘no code’ to cover — in Reface’s box — a push-button, AI apparatus for pro-style calm creation; a ‘no code’ tag typically refers to b2b collection that facilitate app building though a common thesis is supercharged accessibility.)

With such a stimulating portfolio of early theatre backers Reface’s Ukrainian founders are certainly proof a value of adhering with it where low tech is concerned. As we reported behind in a summer, 3 of a founders began operative together roughly a decade ago — honing their appurtenance training chops true out of university. Their persistence is now profitable off in viral spades.

Deepfake video app Reface is only removing started on shapeshifting selfie culture

“The Reface group has taken their rarely sophisticated, appurtenance training record and remade it into a consumer knowledge that is seamless to use and fun to share with your friends,” said Connie Chan, ubiquitous partner during Andreessen Horowitz in a ancillary matter on a funding.

“We’re only commencement to see a intensity applications for their core record opposite consumer, entertainment, and selling practice and a Reface group has a creativity and imagination to assistance figure that future,” she added.

“I trust that Reface has a intensity to be a next-generation personalization height that enables a gamification of movies, sports, song videos, and many other fields that people are ardent about,” combined Supercell’s Paananen in another statement. “I’m vehement to see a group grow Reface into a village that allows people to emanate active personal connectors with artists and any other by calm they love.” 

Reface’s co-founders, Denys Dmytrenko, Oles Petriv, Ivan Altsybieiev, Roman Mogylnyi, Yaroslav Boiko, Dima Shvets and Kyrylo Syhyda (Image credit: Reface)

Reface says a seed appropriation will concede it to step on a expansion gas. Including stepping adult work on a apparatus that’s able of detecting a possess fakes, that it wants to build to cringe a risk of a tech being misused.

Earlier this year a startup told us a showing tech would be prepared by tumble so it’s evidently holding a bit longer than expected. But garnering viral expansion for a celeb-video face-swaps might good have reconfigured a priorities a tad.

A formerly slated tumble launch of UGC video for face-swapping has also not nonetheless entirely materialized.

A village that’s now fuelled by formulating and pity high prolongation value luminary video clips seems a really opposite kind of ‘eerie’ vs vouchsafing users lax on face-swapping themselves onto a physique of their child brother, say, or grandparent (not to discuss a wider risks of not peculiarity determining a bottom element for face swaps). So holding time to get strong controls in place creates good business sense. As does focusing on stoking a viral bang with uninformed celeb calm by gripping calm partners happy.

Asked about a delay, Reface told us UGC video has been “partly” launched during this point, given users can download their GIFs. “It’s still in beta as we’re contrast and improving — showing system, moderation, communication with users — to make certain that calm will not be misused,” it said, adding: “Regarding video, we have a garland of creators who yield us with calm directly. This approach we can exam all a UGC mechanics. We devise to launch a UGC choice to a open by a finish of Q1.” 

On a still-in-development showing tool, Reface pronounced a devise is to launch it alongside UGC.

“We are training a models to maximize a showing quality,” it told us on that, adding that it hopes to have a apparatus finalized in Apr 2021.

Reface’s a overarching aspiration is to build “the biggest height of personalized content” — monetizing that by partnering with calm holders and celebrities to offer head-turning “creative digital selling solutions”.

Having a nearby serf assembly for buzzy amicable calm during a pestilence has clearly helped a mission, even as it’s increased amicable rivals like Snap.

With so many wearied kids stranded during home with their phones this year, there’s been an event for expansion opposite a house of amicable media. (And a16z is a devotee of several other amicable plays, including audio-based amicable network Clubhouse, and — for kids — a Roblox amicable gaming platform, to name only two.)

Snap shares raze after floating past gain expectations

In Aug 2020, Reface says it became viral and ranked series one in a U.S. AppStore — (briefly) leading TikTok and Instagram. Celebrities including Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, Britney Spears, Joe Rogan, Chris Brown, Miley Cyrus and Dua Lipa have all common their refaced videos on amicable media this year, it also notes.

This year it’s inked partnerships with party attention luminaries to foster new video launches, including Bieber, Cyrus and John Legend, as good as operative with Amazon Prime to publicize a Borat film premiere — racking up “millions” some-more shares and refaces.  

“Funding from Andreessen Horowitz will concede us to accelerate this growth, commission a group with new talents and urge technology, as we will continue work on a feign videos showing apparatus to pledge obliged use of a AI technology,” co-founder Denis Dmitrenko combined in a statement. 

A16z is now handling $16.5 billion, after announcing dual new funds

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