Luma AI Raises $43M Series B and Releases Genie 1.0

Luma AI Raises $43M Series B and Releases Genie 1.0
Image Credit: Maginative

San Francisco-based startup Luma AI announced that it has raised $43 million in Series B funding, led by top-tier VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). This brings Luma’s total funding to $70 million as it scales up its generative AI capabilities.

The funding comes alongside the 1.0 release of its first generative 3D model, Genie. The model, which was first released as a research preview last Novemember, can generate interactive 3D assets in under 10 seconds from a text prompt. For example, users can input “gold ring with ruby gemstone” to produce a detailed 3D rendering.

Genie has already attracted tens of thousands of users, setting a high bar for speed and quality in text-to-3D generation. Its models showcase fewer distortions than existing solutions while matching industry standards for polygons and materials.

This unique combination reflects Luma’s strengths in computer vision and graphics. Cofounder and CTO Alex Yu previously published pioneering research on neural rendering of 3D graphics. Meanwhile, CEO Amit Jain led development of Apple’s computer vision tools.

The $43 million in new funding will fuel hiring and infrastructure for Luma’s “foundation model” research. The startup aims to create AI that can not only generate 3D visuals but also understand real-world concepts and interactions. Its long-term vision includes AI that can perceive, reason and communicate much like humans.

Luma has already made high-profile hires such as NVIDIA scientist Jiaming Song as Chief Scientist and UC Berkeley’s Matthew Tancik to lead applied research. It plans to double its workforce to 50 employees by the end of 2024.

In a blog post, a16z specifically called out Luma’s leadership team as a primary reason for its investment:

“The Luma team exemplifies what we’re looking for,” the firm said, also citing the group’s “maniacal focus on delightful product design.”

Luma's rise comes amid a burgeoning interest in visual generative models, a domain that complements the advancements in language models. With the success of models like DALL-E 3 and Midjourney in 2D image generation, Luma's Genie 1.0 signifies a pivotal moment in 3D generative modeling. This innovation, once a subject of academic papers, now finds practical implementation in Luma's work, setting new benchmarks for speed and quality in text-to-3D generation.

Chris McKay is the founder and chief editor of Maginative. His thought leadership in AI literacy and strategic AI adoption has been recognized by top academic institutions, media, and global brands.

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