Runway, a start-up building the next generation of digital creative tools, announced today an $8.5 million Series A led by Amplify Partners with participation from Lux Capital and Compound Ventures. Using machine learning, the company is pioneering image and video creation techniques for synthetic content manipulation and media editing, allowing users to create and generate content with cutting-edge AI and graphics technology. With an active and growing community, Runway has emerged as a leader in the future of content production.
“Deep learning techniques are bringing a new paradigm to content creation with synthetic media and automation,” Runway founder Cristobal Valenzuela explained. “With Runway, we’re building the backbone of that creative revolution, allowing creators to do things that were impossible until very recently.”
Today, Runway’s user community includes designers, filmmakers, and other creative professionals at R/GA, New Balance, Google, and IBM. A favorite among educators, Runway has been incorporated into the design curriculum at NYU, RISD, and MIT. So far, Runway users have trained more than 50,000 AI models, uploaded over 24 million files to the platform, and run more than 900,000 models.
“By making sophisticated machine learning algorithms unimaginably accessible, Runway challenges a designer’s own visual and muscle memories, pushing them out of their comfort zones to create unexpected, innovative work,” said Onur Yuce Gun, Creative Manager of Computation Design at New Balance.
Most recently, Runway released Green Screen, a web tool that uses machine learning to automate the process of rotoscoping, saving users significant time when they want to remove objects from a background. Professional editors and content creators are using Green Screen to edit content faster and expand the visual effects tools of their projects.
“The ways in which we distribute content have changed radically in recent years; however, the tools that creative professionals use to make content have not,” said Sarah Catanzaro, Partner at Amplify Partners. “For the first time in decades, creatives now have a radically better suite of tools to generate and edit images, video, and other media with AI. Runway is not only automating routine work for creatives, but also enabling new forms of perception and creative expression. We are thrilled to partner with a talented team as they develop the next-gen creative toolkit.”
The investment brings Runway’s total funding since launching to $10.5M and will help Runway to hire within their research and engineering teams as they continue building cutting-edge synthetic media tools while growing their community of creative users.
Valenzuela co-founded Runway with Anastasis Germanidis and Alejandro Matamala, all graduates of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.
About Runway: Runway is building the next generation of creative tools that makes machine learning easy and accessible for all types of creatives. With an active and growing community, Runway is pioneering how content and media are created. With a focus on video automation and synthetic media, Runway reduces the costs of creating visual media across creative industries. To learn more and sign up for a free account visit www.runwayml.com.