Artisse AI Secures $6.7M for Enhanced Realism in AI Photography App

ByYasmeeta Oon

Jan 26, 2024

“Artisse, a groundbreaking AI photo creation application, has recently secured a notable $6.7 million in seed funding. This surge in investment comes in the wake of the viral popularity of AI-generated selfies, a domain in which Artisse has distinguished itself. Unique among its peers, Artisse offers a platform where users can blend their own selfies with various prompts to generate custom photos. These images can span a diverse range of settings, postures, and styles, setting the stage for an innovative approach to personal photography.

At its core, Artisse operates on a sophisticated, proprietary AI model that integrates industry best practices with elements sourced from open-source models and tools. This blend of technology allows it to produce strikingly realistic images, elevating it above competitors in the realm of photo apps. Its acclaim is evident, having reached the pinnacle of the Google Play Store’s photo app category at different times in major markets such as the U.S., U.K., Japan, South Korea, Canada, and Australia.

The app’s reach is extensive, with over 200,000 downloads and its creations having touched an estimated 43 million people across various social media platforms. To date, users have crafted over 5 million photos using Artisse, as indicated on its website.

Founded by William Wu, a former strategist and investment professional with stints at McKinsey & Co. and Oaktree Capital, Artisse started as a bootstrapped venture. Wu was inspired to venture into AI app development after observing the prevalence of ‘perfect’ photos on social media platforms like Instagram and dating profiles. Recognizing the time and expertise required to achieve such photographic quality, Wu envisioned a tool that would democratize access to high-caliber photography, making it available to anyone with a smartphone.

Unlike its competitors, training Artisse’s AI takes a bit longer, approximately 30 to 40 minutes, but the results are quicker, only taking minutes to produce a photo. This extra training time is crucial as it enables the AI to generate images that are remarkably more lifelike than those offered by other market players.

Wu highlights Artisse’s unique edge, noting that while other platforms like Midjourny excel in landscapes and design, Artisse specializes in capturing the human element more accurately. It takes into account various factors such as race, facial structure, skin color, lighting, camera type and angle, body posture, and background scenery. This comprehensive approach necessitates extensive data collection and tagging, focusing on the quality of images rather than just quantity.

The app’s AI has been trained using public domain photography, ensuring a wide and diverse learning base. Artisse aims to address challenges faced in the AI photo app domain, particularly in representing diverse body shapes and skin tones accurately. This focus is in response to issues faced by other apps in the market, like Remini, which received criticism for altering body shapes and sizes in its images.

Artisse differentiates itself from similar apps by producing photos that are not just for social media showcases but could also be utilized in more professional contexts. However, the flexibility of the AI model does raise ethical considerations, such as the potential for users to modify their race in photos. Wu emphasizes that while the technology allows for such alterations, the intent is not to promote or encourage such uses.

Primarily, Artisse finds its audience among individuals who wish to create unique social media posts, models, influencers, and businesses seeking innovative AI photography for advertising. The app initially attracted users by offering 25 free photos, followed by a nominal charge of around 20 cents per photo. This pricing strategy drew in a casual audience, leading to a significant proportion of users trying out the app just once. Of the 200,000 downloads, about 4,000 have transitioned to subscribers under Artisse’s new monetization model.

Artisse now offers three subscription tiers, priced at $7, $15, and $40 per month, which allow users to create between 25 to 370 photos. The company has seen a rapid growth in revenue, reaching $1 million in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) by December 2023 and is on track to hit $2.5 million ARR shortly.

The startup’s financial success is reflected in its recent $6.7 million seed funding round, led by The London Fund, a firm known for strategic investments in high-growth companies. This investment aligns well with Artisse’s goals, given The London Fund’s experience in influencer marketing, which could aid in promoting the app. The funding round remains open to other investors.

Looking ahead, Artisse’s 22-member team is not just focused on consumer photography. They are exploring innovative applications of their AI technology, such as virtual fitting rooms for online shopping and a feature for creating group photos with friends or celebrities (with permission). Other potential avenues include shopping directly from AI-generated photos and converting these digital creations into physical prints.

Available on both iOS and Android platforms, Artisse is redefining the landscape of AI photography, offering a blend of technological innovation, artistic expression, and practical utility. Its growth trajectory and the enthusiastic reception from a diverse user base underscore its potential as a pioneering force in the realm of AI-driven personal photography.”

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.