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May 26th, 2021

Startup Focused on Synthetic Videos Secures Funding

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Deep Word, a Bloomington-based video production startup, has received a $20,000 investment from Elevate Ventures’ Community Ideation Fund.

Deep Word uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create synthetic videos of people talking. Users can select a video actor, or upload their own video, and upload an audio file or type a script of what they want their actor to say. Deep Word’s technology generates a video of this actor speaking their desired audio within minutes, saving users time and money on video production. This month, Deep Word is releasing an application programming interface (API) that allows companies to create templates and personalize videos for individual employees or customers at scale.

“Deep Word has really been able to prove out the technology with individual users,” said Cy Megnin, Elevate Ventures’ entrepreneur-in-residence serving Velocities, a partnership supporting startups in south-central Indiana. “What has me most excited about this company is the release of its API, which will allow video production to be truly scalable.”

Deep Word was founded in 2020 by Ankush Bikkasani, CEO, and Mahesh Latnekar, chief technology officer. Since launching, the company has gained approximately 19,000 users across the United States. The company’s technology can be used in any application involving video, including educational tutorials, corporate training/communication or entertainment.

Elevate funding will enable technological improvements to create higher-quality videos.

“Synthetic video enables the production of custom video content at scale, something which was never feasible with contemporary video production due to time and budgetary constraints,” said Bikkasani. “Deep Word aims to be the go-to enabler of such technology, and this funding will allow us to reach our goals and scale faster.”

Deep Word won a pre-seed award in the Elevate Nexus Regional Pitch Competition in 2020. In 2021, the company placed in the 2021 Clapp IDEA Competition and the Cheng Wu Innovation Challenge. Last week, Deep Word pitched for a seed award in the Elevate Nexus Pitch Competition.

Elevate’s Community Ideation Fund is made possible through its partnership with Velocities. The Community Ideation Fund is available through the state’s 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, which is overseen by the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and promotes economic growth and innovation-driven public-private partnerships in Indiana.

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