Artisse AI secures $6.7 million in funding for cutting-edge AI photography app boasting unparalleled realism

Models and influencers are among Artisse’s early adopters along with some businesses using AI photography for their ads. “I see AI photography as a new category that should be probably of a similar size, if not bigger than, photo editing apps,” he says. The investment, which was inbound, made sense because the fund has an influencer marketing arm and could help with marketing the app, Wu explains. Shopping from AI photos and turning them into physical prints are other ideas being explored. Artisse’s AI app is available on both iOS and Android.

Artisse Raises $6.7 Million in Seed Funding for AI Photo Creation App

One startup is making waves in the world of AI photo creation apps with its focus on producing hyper-realistic images for everyday users. With its recent seed funding of $6.7 million, the app is set to disrupt the market and offer a unique approach to generating personalized photos.

Artisse Logo
Artisse logo

“Midjourny clearly does well when it comes to landscapes and design work, but when it comes to people — the way to think about it, is there’s a lot of different factors and you need to build individual training sets for each of those factors.”

Artisse, similar to other AI photo creation apps, allows users to generate photos of themselves using uploaded selfies combined with prompts. With its recent seed funding, the company is set to improve its AI technology and offer a unique approach to photo creation. Unlike other apps in the market, Artisse focuses on making its images more photo-realistic, allowing for a more professional aesthetic.

Users of Artisse upload photos of themselves to train the AI on their images and use text or image prompts to generate new photos of themselves in various settings, postures, and styles. The app has seen great success in markets including the U.S., U.K., Japan, South Korea, Canada, and Australia, becoming a top photo app on the Google Play Store.

With over 200,000 downloads and an estimated reach of 43 million people across social media, Artisse continues to grow in popularity. To date, users have created over 5 million photos with the app.

Behind the scenes, Artisse utilizes its own proprietary model and incorporates best practices and elements from open source models and tools. This allows for the production of hyper-realistic images and sets Artisse apart from its competitors.

Revolutionizing Photo Editing

Artisse founder, William Wu, previously worked in investment and strategy with roles at McKinsey & Co. and Oaktree Capital. His inspiration for developing an AI app came from seeing how many people had “perfect” photos on their Instagram or dating profiles. However, he realized that achieving those results would require time and expertise with personal photography. Wu’s idea was to make that same type of photography more accessible to anyone with a smartphone.

Training Artisse takes longer than competitors, around 30 to 40 minutes, but the AI images only take minutes to produce. Wu explains that this process allows for the production of more realistic images compared to other apps on the market.

“Midjourny clearly does well when it comes to landscapes and design work, but when it comes to people — the way to think about it, is there’s a lot of different factors and you need to build individual training sets for each of those factors,” says Wu.

This means that Artisse’s AI model takes into consideration factors such as race, facial structures, skin color, lighting, camera type, camera angle, the way the body is shot, the scenery, and more. Additionally, there is a significant amount of work required in terms of data collection and tagging to ensure the best quality images.

Standing Out in the Market

Like many apps in this space, Artisse faces challenges in areas such as the diversity of body shapes and skin tones. However, the app aims to stand out from apps like Remini and Lensa by producing photos that could be used in real life.

Wu acknowledges that their AI model is flexible enough that users could do things with their photos that wouldn’t be appropriate, like changing their race. However, that is not the intention of the app and not how most users utilize the product. Most users leverage Artisse to post photos on social media, particularly those they wouldn’t be able to capture otherwise, such as shots where they’re posed next to a fancy car or wearing a high-fashion look. Early adopters of the app include models, influencers, and businesses using AI photography for their ads.

Monetizing Through Subscriptions

The app initially offered 25 photos for free before charging around 20 cents per photo afterward. This attracted a casual audience who dabbled with the technology, with around 60-70% of users being “light” users who try the app once. Of the 200,000 downloads, approximately 4,000 have converted to subscribers, which is now the app’s primary monetization model.

Currently, there are three subscription tiers priced at $7, $15, and $40 per month, with users receiving anywhere from 25 to 370 photos. Artisse has reported tripling its revenue to $1 million ARR in December 2023 and is on track to reach $2.5 million ARR this month.

“Revenue is growing pretty fast, payback period is relatively low,” says Wu. “I see AI photography as a new category that should be probably of a similar size, if not bigger than, photo editing apps.”

Strategic Funding for Growth

The recent $6.7 million seed funding round was led by The London Fund, a firm that makes strategic investments in high-growth companies with several consumer businesses in their portfolio. The investment, which was inbound, made sense because the fund has an influencer marketing arm that could assist with marketing the app. The round is still open to other investors.

Looking ahead, Artisse’s 22-person team plans to leverage its AI technology in other ways beyond consumer photos. They are currently exploring virtual fitting room technology for online shopping, where users can model clothes on themselves in different fits and poses. Other possibilities being explored include a group photo feature that could allow users to “pose” with a friend or celebrity (with permission), shopping from AI photos, and turning them into physical prints.

Artisse’s AI app is available on both iOS and Android. So far, it has seen tremendous success thanks to its unique approach to producing hyper-realistic images and is poised for future growth in the AI photography market.

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Max Chen

Max Chen is an AI expert and journalist with a focus on the ethical and societal implications of emerging technologies. He has a background in computer science and is known for his clear and concise writing on complex technical topics. He has also written extensively on the potential risks and benefits of AI, and is a frequent speaker on the subject at industry conferences and events.

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