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This London startup bags $9M for AI-based video compression tech

Deep Render team
Image credits: Deep Render

The amount of data on the internet is doubling every two years and 90% of it is video, the internet’s infrastructure has reached a point of saturation. While there is massive data traffic, there is very little bandwidth to handle it, and the compression technologies that lie at its heart are buckling under pressure.

London-based AI startup Deep Render has built a revolutionary video compression algorithm that shrinks video sizes up to 5x without compromising the streaming quality. Instead of improving on the traditional video compression systems, Deep Render has completely reinvented the technology to mimic the neural processes of the human eye.

In a recent development, Deep Render, which operates with the mission to solve the data and bandwidth crisis threatening the future of the web, has raised $9 million in funding for its transformational video compression technology. The fund comprises a $6.3 million Series A round led by UK-based investors – IP Group and Pentech Ventures, which backed PrimaryBid and a highly competitive grant from the European Innovation Council of $2.7 million. With this round, the total funding raised by the company accounts for $15 million.

To TFN, the Deep Render confirmed that the raise is for further parallelising their commercial engagements and shifting their focus to the US. Also, it will be used to double Deep Render’s team, accelerate commercial engagement, fuel its patent plans, and further roll out the technology in a way that is both sustainable while making the maximum impact.

Currently, the team comprises 25 members and the company eyes to grow it to nearly 45 members by the end of this year and reach 60 members in 14 months.

“Five years ago, Chri and I founded Deep Render to bet on AI Compression and the AI-Accelerator hardware ecosystem”, added Co-founder and CTO Arsalan Zafar. “After years of hard work and exceptional R&D, we’ve built the world’s first AI Codec. This is an iPhone moment for the compression industry, which will never be the same again. We expect 100s of millions of users in 2024 and billions by 2026. It is an incredible feeling creating something that can positively impact so many people”.

“The fact we’ve raised new funding from such visionary investors and partnered with some of the world’s biggest tech names is a testament to our incredible team and the standout product we’re building”, said Deep Render’s Co-founder and CEO Chri Besenbruch. “Big Tech companies distribute billions of videos a day. Global video consumption is rising rapidly, and user demand for higher-quality video is exploding. With our AI-powered breakthrough, we are uniquely positioned to take over the industry, benefiting all customers, stakeholders and the public”.

Jon Edignton, Head of Software Investment at IP Group said: “It’s become almost cliched for tech brands to describe themselves as disruptive and revolutionary, but Chri, Arsalan and the team at Deep Render certainly buck this trend. They have created an innovation that has the potential to completely transform the internet as we know it while supporting a truly free and open web.”

Eddie Anderson, founding partner at Pentech Ventures said: “We are as committed to the belief that Deep Render will fundamentally transform our digital lives today as we were when we first invested back at Seed in 2020. In fact, the advancements that have been made since, the deals that have been signed, and the growing number of proof points make us even more sure that the team can shift the dial. Not a sentence or a claim we make lightly.”

AI-based compression technique

Deep Render was founded in 2018 by Chri Besenbruch and Arsalan Zafar, who met at Imperial College while studying computer science and ML/AI. They started the company with the idea of freeing the world of all bandwidth limitations by pioneering AI-based Compression.

As per the company, Deep Render is the only AI-based compression startup in this world. Its rivals TuCodec, which is no more operational, and WaveOne, acquired by Apple follow traditional compression techniques. AI-based compression is an end-to-end neural network codec and does not touch the traditional compression pipeline.

Deep Render believes that AI-based compression is the future as it wins in compression performance, hardware availability, feature availability, innovation speed, and innovation potential. Its technology has been built to harness and scale with the AI hardware that’s already in use in 100s of millions of devices.

Deep Render estimates video streaming services such as Netflix could save up to $1.6 billion yearly on content delivery costs by switching to Deep Render’s technology. Alternatively, its technology can also be used to offer end-users an increased video quality experience at no extra cost.

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