Vienna. Removing the background from a picture or video is a huge effort for graphic artists, photographers or designers. A Viennese start-up has developed two automatic image processing aids for this, whereby Artificial Intelligence takes care of the previously laborious work in no time.
Now this Viennese company, called Kaleido AI, has been bought by the Australian company Canva. It was agreed not to disclose the exact purchase price, but it should be one of the greatest sales successes of the Austrian start-up scene.
But what makes the idea of the two founders Benjamin Grössing and David Fankhauser and their team of 25 AI experts so valuable? First of all, there are the impressive usage figures: According to the company, in 2020 alone over 100 million people from more than 180 countries used the two tools remove.bg for photos and unscreen.com for videos. With this, “Kaleido’s technology has helped create more than 1 billion photos and videos.”
For professionals and individuals
In view of the ongoing meme boom, in which short image and video content, mostly of a humorous nature, is distributed via the Internet and social media, not only professionals, but increasingly also occasional offenders need such image processing tools. Naturally, it becomes all the more interesting when something comes onto the market that is easy for everyone to use. That has now paid off for Kaleido AI.
The Viennese start-up has taken an unusual path and instead of external investors has opted for organic growth with a focus on in-house product development. “This approach enabled us to radically align ourselves with our users and their needs and not with investors who are worried about the end result,” the company said.
Austria meets Australia
The sale to Canva then evidently came about with a certain logic. In the Australian company, the Viennese probably recognized a kind of kinship with regard to the mission of “making complex things simple” and the approach in which “overlapping roadmaps” were identified. Over 40 million people around the world design on Canva every month, so over 100 designs from posters to videos, infographics and presentations are created every second, people in Vienna are enthusiastic about their big Australian brother. Despite being sold, Kaleido AI wants to continue to provide its tools as usual in the future.
The collaboration with Canva is hoped to accelerate innovation and further development in the future.
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Artificial intelligence Viennese startup million dollar coup