Unless you were living under a rock, over the past few weeks you would have seen social media plastered with people transformed into old versions of themselves. This was the result of FaceApp which uses AI to transform images. A-list celebrities joined in on the fun, but the trend was shortlived as users found they’d agreed to concerning terms and more about the Russian company behind it, Wireless Lab.
It’s six-year-old competitor Facetune, although subscription-only is promoted as “the Original selfie editor” and focuses less on the comedic approach of FaceApp. While the viral hype of Faceapp is over for now, the future of FaceTune and it’s creators Lightricks has most certainly not thanks to a big injection from Wall street.
Today it was revealed that the company, which recently launched its Series C round of funding, has been injected with $135 Million investments lead from Goldman Sachs, Insight partners and other investors putting the company’s valuation now at over $1 Billion.
The investment will be used to accelerate development of more powerful, cutting-edge AI enhanced content creation tools, by making strategic acquisitions and expanding the company’s offices around the world. Lightricks aims to significantly grow its current team of 250 across Israel, the UK and opening a third office in Germany.
The competing face manipulation app, FaceApp’s recent momentum has simmered as fear spread among users, once it was discovered that the terms and conditions relinquished users rights to the images. Further accusations fueled the flames on a conspiracy that the company was a secret Russian program to collect facial recognition data. Needless to say, skeptical netizens have tuned out for now.
Facetune meanwhile comes from a much more trustworthy source, the work of five PHD students based in Israel who were inspired by Snapseed. Lightricks is the creator of several other popular, award-winning photo and video editing apps, used by millions of consumers and businesses worldwide. Lightricks has expanded rapidly, tripling revenues each year over the past three years.