Founders Fund leads Series Seed for further computer vision technology and product development
(San Francisco, January 2020) – Forma has raised $7M in a Series Seed financing from Founders Fund, GSR, founders / executives from YouTube, imgur, Sandbox VR, Polyvore, Roblox, and others to build photorealistic digital identities unconstrained by the physical world. The funds will be used to refine computer vision technology and product development.
Forma’s current products on iOS and Shopify empower users to visualize themselves in any outfit, which previously required physically putting on clothes or merely using imagination. This is a new source of style inspiration for personal exploration, style discussions with friends, or shopping in a world of overwhelming choice; already, Forma has partnered with hundreds of retailers who have increased their shoppers’ confidence and purchase conversion rates by offering digital tryons. Forma believes visualization is a critical component in exploring personal style, and shoppers will soon demand to see themselves in an item before buying online, just like they do offline. In the future, Forma plans to extend their technology to power photorealistic avatars in video games, movies, VR, videoconferences, or anywhere a visual representation is useful in the digital world.
Their proprietary computer vision and graphics technology produces pixel-level photorealism in real-time with regular photos, i.e. no need for special hardware (e.g. 3D cameras), green screens, Photoshopping, or photo stitching. While many have tried this idea over the years, this had been impossible to scale until recent breakthroughs in AI technology (specifically deep learning) and GPU hardware.
Co-founder and CEO Ben Chiang says: “We’re fortunate to partner with long-term investors who believe in building deep technology applied to universal desires. In our case that desire is the exploration of visual identity, which is increasingly shifting to the digital world. While our technology and products are still early, we’ve already seen a strong and broad response from the market, and this funding enables us to continue innovating and refining the experience. We believe that it’s a matter of when, not if everybody will have a digital avatar just like they have Facebook, hopefully powered by Forma!”
“Forma is capitalizing on recent breakthroughs in computer vision to enable anyone to create a photorealistic avatar from a single photo. There is huge demand for this technology in the retail world and beyond,” said Keith Rabois, Partner at Founders Fund.
Forma was founded in San Francisco in October 2017 by co-founders from Uber, Intel, and Stanford, and has raised a total of $12M in funding. They have a small and motivated team from a wide variety of backgrounds and a shared passion for creative problem solving.
About Founders Fund
Founders Fund invests in the world’s most important and valuable companies across all sectors and stages. The firm has been an early backer of some of the most impactful companies of the past decade, including SpaceX, Palantir, Airbnb, Stripe and Facebook. Founders Fund pursues a founder-friendly investment strategy, providing maximum support with minimum interference. For more information, visit www.foundersfund.com.
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