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Cisco, Amazon and Facebook execs-led Generative AI startup raises $8M to scale product placement for videos

Photo Credit: Rembrand

At a time when there is a buzz around generative AI such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google coming with a rival known as Bard, Rembrand offers a programmatic platform for AI-generated product placement in digital video.

The company automates the integration of top-notch virtual goods into video assets for the vast online creator community that controls modern consumer viewing habits.

Now the Los Altos-based startup has raised $8M in seed funding for its AI product placement platform that embeds photo-realistic items into digital films. The round was led by venture capital firms and strategic funds, including Greycroft and UTA.VC.

Rembrand intends to use the initial investment to help with the beta launch. Their application process will began on February 7 for outstanding producers who are interested in monetising their content using Rembrand’s AI technology.

The beta platform went live on February 6, 2023, with key influencers already on board.

“Consumers are skipping ads at an alarming rate. IPG reports that up to 65% of commercials are skipped. Consumers don’t like interruptions, and advertisers are searching for a more effective way to get noticed in video. With the explosive growth of online video and streaming, the traditional model of selling advertising in video is ripe for disruption,” said CEO Omar Tawakol, who was previously the founder and CEO of Bluekai (a marketing data platform acquired by Oracle in 2014) and also the founder and CEO of Voicea (a conversational AI company acquired by Cisco in 2019).

“Product placement is a fantastic way to break through the clutter and get your brand in front of consumers, but it’s a manual process that requires big budgets. We see an opportunity to enable scalable, post-production product placement that meets the needs of today’s creators,” says Tawakol.

“Content creators move quickly and it’s about time that sponsors catch up. Currently it can take weeks and multiple back-and-forths for just one sponsored integration to be approved,” said Alexandra Botez of BotezLive, a leading YouTuber and Twitch influencer focused on chess. “Rembrand will help drastically speed up this process on top of providing new monetization opportunities. I can’t wait to try it out!”.

“We believe Rembrand has the tech and team in place to quickly address a significant gap in the product placement marketplace with a solution geared toward content creators and streaming platforms,” said Dana Settle, Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner at Greycroft. “Omar and his founding team have a track record of success to build what we envision is a category-defining company.”

The founding team at Rembrand includes, David Wiener, Chief Product Officer at Voicea and General Manager for Artificial Intelligence at Cisco, Nikki Heyder, Director of Product from Vidcast at Cisco, Ahmed Saad founder at Amazon Prime, Virtual Product Placement, and Abdelrahman Mohamed, Director of AI at Meta. 

As a platform that allows photo-realistic product placement to be dynamically injected into digital video after post-production was founded in 2022 by Ahmed Saad, David Wiener, Nikki Heyder, and Omar Tawakol. Rembrand welcomes content creators of all sizes and forms.

Moreover, Rembrand allows you to easily enhance any video asset with AI-generated goods that complement the setting. As a result, users can watch movies uninterrupted, while sponsors may become part of the story instead of an interruption.

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