AI startup Polarr bags $11.5 million to bring the power of edge AI technology to photography and video; now boasts 20 million app downloads
Polarr, an AI startup and innovator of edge AI technology for photography, video and other creative processes, has raised $11.5 million to support R&D, engineering, and technology partnership initiatives. The round was led by Threshold Ventures (formerly DFJ Venture), with participation from Cota Capital and Pear Ventures. In conjunction with the funding, Polarr said Chris Kelley will be join its board of directors, along with Mar Hershenson of Pear Ventures.
Besides the funding, the company also said it inked a deal with Samsung to deliver AI features to the Galaxy S10 phone. Polarr has developed a deep-learning based AI composition capability for the native camera app on the new Samsung Galaxy S10, which sports a breakthrough display, camera, and intelligent performance. The Galaxy S10’s Composition Guide uses Polarr’s technology, trained with thousands of shots from professional photographers, to guide the user to the most desirable composition interactively, creating the perfect image every time.”
Founded in 2014 by Borui Wang, Derek Yan, and Enhao Gong, the Bay Area Polarr enables and inspires everyone to make beautiful creations using the power of edge AI technology. Polarr provides offline AI technology for photography, video and other creative use cases to provide developers tools and resources to create world-class applications that enable and inspire everyone to make beautiful creations. The Polarr Photo Editor is a photo editing application used globally by more than four million novice and professional photographers each month.
Polarr’s computer vision and deep learning technology is transforming mobile photography, video, and other creative work, allowing anyone to create professional-quality content using powerful tools for composing, editing, and curating photos and videos.
Deep learning has exploded, with AI giants building advanced frameworks and mobile device makers building ever more specialized chipsets. However, developers must re-learn how to work with each and every chip. The Polarr Vision Engine is chip agnostic from a developer’s perspective, providing a higher-level abstraction to run deep learning models on any device – from the latest smartphones to drone cameras. All of Polarr’s AI modules run entirely on the edge, with low memory and power consumption.
“Polarr’s expertise across design, hardware, and deep learning is really unique,” said Chris Kelley, a partner at Threshold Ventures. “Not only do they give consumers a way to leverage skills from the world’s best photographers, but pros can also use their tools to create something really special.”
Polarr’s AI composition solution is based on the Polarr Vision Engine, a core technology infrastructure used to power other proprietary Polarr solutions designed for current and future consumer apps to harness the power of AI to deliver unique, creative, and visual experiences. In addition to Samsung, the Polarr Vision Engine is used by other leading consumer hardware and software makers including Qualcomm, Oppo and HoverCam. Polarr is currently working on expanding its platform support and service capability to allow more developers to enjoy the same power and benefits of the engine.
“As deep learning compute shifts from the cloud to edge devices, there is a growing opportunity to provide sophisticated and creative edge AI technologies to mobile devices,” said Borui Wang, co-founder and CEO, Polarr. “This new round of financing is a tangible endorsement of our approach to enable and inspire everyone to make beautiful creations.”