Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Runway Bags $141M Series C Extension from Google, Nvidia, Salesforce 


Generative AI investment capital continues to flow this week. Runway, a company specializing in AI-powered content creation tools, has announced a $141 million Series C extension from Google, Nvidia, Salesforce Ventures, and others.

This extended round builds on a Series C announced in December. Reuters reported the company is now valued at $1.5 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter. The company says it will leverage the fresh funds to further scale its in-house R&D, expand its team, and continue to bring its multi-modal AI systems and products to market.

Runway offers a suite of AI-powered tools that it says are used by TV shows, media companies, and creatives across industries, and even an Academy-nominated movie. The company says its research team is involved in new developments in deep learning to ensure the future of content creation is accessible, controllable, and empowering for artists and creatives.

“We’re rebuilding the creative stack from the ground up and developing impactful research that will be a major force of change across industries,” said Runway CEO and co-founder, Cristóbal Valenzuela. “The next phase of storytelling will be highly democratized, and our ultimate goal is to create a more equitable, diverse, and creative world through our products and research outputs. We are thrilled to have continued support from investors, partners, and customers who believe in this vision.”

Runway co-founders Anastasis Germanidis (top), Alejandro Matamala-Ortiz, and Cristóbal Valenzuela (L to R). (Source: Runway)

Runway’s flagship product is Gen-2, the second iteration of its text-to-video model that allows users to generate video content from an input video and either images or text prompts. Earlier this year, the company launched a mobile app and hosted a series of AI Film Festivals. It also created Runway Studios, an entertainment and production division of the company that serves as a production partner and platform for creatives.

Nvidia is an investor and cloud computing provider for the company. “Generative AI is transforming the content creation industry, breathing new life into stories and ideas that were not imaginable,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of Nvidia. “The Runway team is doing amazing work with Nvidia accelerated computing in the cloud to push the boundaries of creativity and storytelling for millions of artists globally.”

“Runway has been pushing the boundaries of creativity with artificial intelligence for the last five years, and we are excited to continue innovating on a new era of creative tools for artists and creators everywhere,” Valenzuela wrote in a blog post. “In 2023, we brought to market Gen-1 and Gen-2, the first of their kind video generation models. Today, our entire suite of AI Magic Tools is being used by Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies, helping tell new types of stories, and streamline workflows.”