AI music app Riffusion turns viral buzz into $4 million funding
AI-powered music generation app Riffusion has raised $4 million in seed funding to grow its platform and expand its team. The funding round was led by Greycroft, with additional contributions from South Park Commons and Sky9.
Riffusion went viral in early 2023, quickly captivating users with its AI-powered music generation capabilities. The app enables users to craft personalized music tracks by simply selecting a genre and mood. Riffusion then uses AI to generate a unique track that matches the user’s selections.
Riffusion also said it will use the fresh capital infusion to enhance the app’s capabilities, including the ability to create and share music with others, while also focusing on the development of new AI models capable of generating more intricate and sophisticated musical compositions.
The story of Riffusion began nearly a year after developers Seth Forsgren and Hayk Martiros introduced their hobby project, which could generate music using not just audio but also images of sound. The app rapidly gained popularity among musicians and music enthusiasts, even earning features in major publications like The New York Times and The Guardian.
According to Forsgren, millions of people tried Riffusion, and the platform found its place in research papers from tech giants like Meta, Google, and TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance. This viral success naturally drew the attention of investors, leading to the recent $4 million funding raise.
Riffusion’s triumph is a testament to the growing allure of AI-generated music. As AI technology continues to evolve, we can anticipate witnessing more innovative and creative applications of AI within the realm of music.
In conjunction with the funding news, Riffusion also introduced a new, free-to-use app, an improved iteration of last year’s version. This app empowers users to describe lyrics and musical styles to generate “riffs” that can be shared publicly or with friends.
“[The new Riffusion] empowers anyone to create original music via short, shareable audio clips. Users simply describe the lyrics and a musical style, and our model generates riffs complete with singing and custom artwork in a few seconds. From inspiring musicians to wishing your mom ‘good morning,’ riffs are a new form of expression and communication that dramatically reduce the barrier to music creation,” Forsgren told TechCrunch.
The two co-founders, who initially met during their undergraduate studies at Princeton, have spent the past decade playing music together in an amateur band. Forsgren brings the experience of having founded two venture-backed tech companies, Hardline and Yodel, while Martiros previously joined drone startup Skydio as one of its earliest employees.
Forsgren and Martiros were driven by the potential they saw in generative AI tools to connect people through creativity, especially during the pandemic when they noticed an increased interest in music and the power of music to bring people together during times of isolation.
As for monetization, Riffusion currently does not have a clear strategy. The co-founders are primarily focused on growing the team and creating complementary generative AI products. However, Forsgren hinted at a possible closer collaboration with artists, such as The Chainsmokers, to explore how the technology could enhance their creative processes.
“It’s still early days for generative music,” Forsgren pointed out. “Models like Google’s MusicLM, Facebook’s MusicGen, and Stability’s Stable Audio are exciting tools in this space. But Riffusion stands out as one of the first to enable users to generate lyrics in their music through a fun and accessible website.”