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  • Figma flexes its AI features, A24 raises major moolah, and music startups get sued.

Figma flexes its AI features, A24 raises major moolah, and music startups get sued.

Stability appoints new CEO and OpenAI goes on an acquisition spree.

Moves were made in media and entertainment this week. Major record labels, including Universal, Sony, and Warner, have sued AI music startups Suno and Udio for allegedly training their models on copyrighted music without permission. To add fuel to the fire, the RIAA asserted that the music startups were “caught” using copyrighted materials as the startups “left producer tags on their output. ‘CashMoneyAP’ and ‘Jason Derulo’ tags are present in Suno’s outputs.”

We’ll see how the legal battles play out, but it seems like a hefty chunk of the $125M raised recently by the startups will go to the lawyers. 

In the film and television world, A24, the award-winning production house behind “Civil War”, “Everything Everywhere All At Once”, “Euphoria” raised $250M in a funding round led by Thrive Capital’s Jared Kushner, valuing the cultural powerhouse at $3.5B — almost a 40% increase since 2022. It’s an open question on whether this is an AI play. But I imagine that with the leaps in innovation in generative video technologies like Sora, Runway, Kling — some of the funding will go into how to leverage A24’s cultural capital. 

Lastly, it seems like the design world was all headed to Figma’s Config this week, where they announced impressive features like Visual Search (easily find what you’re looking for), Make Designs (auto generate layout) and Make Prototype (auto generate interactions). Figma seems focused on using AI to make the design process more delightful, taking over the painstaking work of renaming files and auto populating dummy content. 

Enjoy this week’s updates!


The Latest 

  1. Stability AI appoints new CEO and closes funding round reportedly worth $80M: Stability AI appointed Prem Akkaraju chief executive officer and announced that it has raised funding from a group of prominent investors. The development comes three months after the startup’s founding CEO, Emad Mostaque, stepped down. The Wall Street Journal reported that the investment is worth $80 million. 

  2. ElevenLabs launches iOS app that turns ‘any’ text into audio narration with AI: ElevenLabs launched its first iOS app, “ElevenLabs Reader: AI Audio.” The new ElevenLabs iOS app is more narrowly tailored and focused specifically on converting text files or links from the web into audio narration that the user can listen to while on the go, or doing something else. 

  1. OpenAI is on an acquiring spree, buying Rockset and Multi: Last week, OpenAI acquired Rockset for real-time data analytics integration. This week, it bought Multi, a remote collaboration tools company, to enhance the ChatGPT desktop application.

  1. AI video startup HeyGen raises $60M valued at $500M: HeyGen, an AI video generation platform, has raised $60 million in Series A funding. Their platform allows users to create, localize, and personalize studio-quality videos without the need for cameras, actors, or crew. The startup has seen explosive growth, skyrocketing from $1 million to over $35 million in annual recurring revenue in just over a year. They've also been profitable since Q2 2023, a rare feat in the current tech landscape. 

  1. Figma unveils AI-powered design tools, challenges Adobe’s dominance: Figma has introduced native AI features to its design tool to accelerate workflows and enable teams to build high-quality software. Available now as part of a limited beta, Figma AI can generate design drafts using a single prompt, help designers explore different perspectives to express a vision, enable rapid prototyping and iterating, and more.

  2. Harvard dropouts raise $120 million to take on Nvidia’s AI chips: A 2-year-old startup founded by Harvard dropouts has just raised $120 million in venture funding to try and build a competitive chip and take on Nvidia in artificial intelligence. Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Etched is developing a chip called Sohu, which the company says will be used to train and deploy AI models using “transformers,” the core architecture underpinning advancements like OpenAI’s ChatGPT.