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This female founder is recrafting the world of design with AI and just secured a $12M Series A round


AI is developing at a rapid pace, with some experts predicting that by 2060 it will have changed human society beyond recognition. For now, though, there are stark limitations regarding certain applications, specifically in the areas of creativity. AI can be creative, as anyone who has used one of the numerous apps or platforms can attest. Using voice or text prompts, it is easy to have an AI generate a unique image, story, or other form of media. However, results are unpredictable, and many would argue that AIs take far too much artistic licence when following a prompt.

For professionals such as graphic designers, AI can help complete a project sooner by conducting tasks such as filtering out relevant data, allowing designers to make quicker decisions, but due to its tendency to abuse artistic licence when being creative, it’s not much help when it comes to the actual design process. Graphic designers often work on projects for brands, so maintaining brand consistency is important, and not something current AI models are particularly good at, limiting their usefulness.

Enabling professional design quality

London-based, female-led startup, Recraft, has garnered significant attention in the eight months since its launch, attracting over 300,000 users. Unlike most generative AI tools that focus on raster images, Recraft goes a step further by developing both raster and infinitely scalable vector images. This versatility supports a broad spectrum of professional graphic design tasks, setting Recraft apart from consumer-centric tools.

Series A funding

Recraft, has successfully raised $12 million in Series A funding in a round led by Khosla Ventures and former GitHub CEO, Nat Friedman. The funding also saw participation from RTP Global, Abstract VC, and Basis Set Ventures. Notable angel investors include Elad Gil, Zhenya Loginov (former Chief Revenue Officer at Miro), Dharmesh Shah (founder and CTO at HubSpot), and Akshay Kothari (Co-founder of Notion).

Recraft boasts being the first Generative AI design tool allowing users to generate and edit vector art, icons, 3D images, and illustrations while adhering to a brand’s style controls. The new funding injection will empower Recraft to develop its own Foundation Model, a pre-trained deep learning algorithm. This strategic move distinguishes Recraft from others in the field, as it opts to build a proprietary model rather than relying on open-source AI platforms like Stable Diffusion. The Foundation Model aims to radically enhance the quality of AI-generated imagery, addressing limitations imposed by fine-tuning Stable Diffusion.

Advancing generative AI for professional design

Recraft’s expertise lies in providing users with unprecedented control over generative AI, supporting the creation of vector images, style controls, and end-to-end content production. The upcoming Foundation Model launch will introduce several groundbreaking capabilities:

Style Control with Visual References:

Users can generate images in a brand’s style using visual references, including brand imagery examples and colours.

Sets of Images or Icons:

A unique feature allowing users to create sets of branded images or icons, fostering the generation of consistently styled graphics. Recraft is the first Generative AI design tool to offer this capability.

Graphic Designs Combining Images and Text:

Leveraging generative design capabilities, this feature proposes layouts, fonts, colours, and illustrations for designs that blend imagery and text, supporting digital advertising and marketing needs.

Recognition and future vision

Nikita Shamgunov, Partner at Khosla Ventures, emphasises the transformative impact of generative AI in the design space, “We are seeing rapid and significant transformation of the design space driven by generative AI. But to date, many of the generative AI design solutions have been targeting consumers, rather than professionals that require high degrees of control. Recraft delivers on professional workflows such as vector images, style controls and end-to-end content production, all powered by in-house built foundation models. Anna Veronika and her team have extensive experience in AI and machine learning, and we are excited to lead the company Series A.”

Nat Friedman commented “The Recraft team has a deep level of talent and experience in machine learning and combined with their unique focus on professional design and vector graphics foundation models, sets them up to play a key role in the future of professional use of generative AI.”

Anna Veronika Dorogush, founder and CEO of Recraft finishes, “I truly believe that AI has the ability to reshape design and influence the way that we look at the world. Recraft was created to meet the requirements of professional design, generating consistent style images and high-quality vector illustrations suitable for everything from advertising and digital marketing assets to iconography. And the development of our Foundation Model will enable us to improve the quality and consistency of the AI-generated graphic design.”

Founded in 2023 by Anna Veronika Dorogush, the creator of CatBoost, Recraft is a generative AI platform designed for professional design tasks. Based in London, the platform enables the creation of style-consistent images and graphic designs tailored for advertising, marketing, and branding. With a team of 13 experts in machine learning, Recraft is at the forefront of AI-powered design, setting new standards for professional workflows.

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