Recraft, a London-based generative AI startup, has announced €11 million in Series A funding in a round led by Khosla Ventures and former GitHub CEO, Nat Friedman, with participation from RTP Global, Abstract VC, Basis Set Ventures, Dharmesh Shah (co-founder & CTO of HubSpot), Elad Gil and other notable angel investors. Founded in 2022, Recraft is one of the first generative AI design tools that enables users to generate and edit vector art, icons, 3D images and illustrations within a brand’s style controls, such as the color palette, geometry of icons, and the style of lines.
“We are building some unique things using technology that no one else has,” Anna Veronika Dorogush, Recraft’s CEO and founder said in an interview. “Open source models have some internal knowledge of how to generate images, but we are raising this round to train our own model, which we can fine-tune to generate images of the highest quality and resolution.”
In simpler terms, Recraft claims to be a ‘foundational’ tool, in the sense that it is building its own Foundation Model — a pre-trained, deep learning algorithm — to generate consistent design elements.
As a result, Recraft develops both raster and infinitely scalable vector images that support professional applications of graphic designs. This can allow companies to design and iterate their creations with their specific brand colours and logos, allowing consistency and adherence to a style guide. By comparison, popular image-generative AI platforms only generate raster images, which cover a portion of professional design tasks.
“Recraft was created to meet the requirements of professional design, generating consistent style images and high-quality vector illustrations suitable for everything from advertising and digital marketing assets to iconography. And the development of our Foundation Model will enable us to improve the quality and consistency of the AI-generated graphic design,” said Anna.
As of now, Recraft has a team of 13 with deep machine-learning experience and expertise in accelerating the next generation of AI-powered design. The company also claims to have amassed over 300,000 users since its launch eight months ago.
“We are seeing rapid and significant transformation of the design space driven by generative AI. But to date, many of the generative AI design solutions have been targeting consumers, rather than professionals that require high degrees of control,”
Nikita Shamgunov, Partner at Khosla Ventures said in a statement.
“Recraft delivers on professional workflows such as vector images, style controls and end-to-end content production, all powered by in-house built foundation models. Anna Veronika and her team have extensive experience in AI and machine learning, and we are excited to lead the company Series A.”
With this new funding, the company plans to advance its use of machine learning, train its own foundation model, and add capabilities such as visual referencing with brand imagery for better style control and the production of graphic designs.
Check out Recraft’s 23-slide Series A round pitch deck below:
What were the slides in the Recraft pitch deck?
Browse the exact example slides from the pitch deck that Recraft used to raise a $11M Series A round led by Khosla Ventures.
1. Traction Slide
Investors gauge any startup’s potential and viability through traction, which is a critical factor especially for nascent ventures like Recraft (established in mid-2023). It is common for investors to turn down entrepreneurs by saying that they love the idea but they need to see more traction. This caution is grounded in the fact that only 20% of startups survive beyond the second year, and many “great ideas” fail to achieve customer adoption.
Recognizing the pivotal role of traction, the Recraft pitch deck opens the deck with multiple traction slides that cover metrics ranging from the number of users, repeat users, number of images created, user feedback and more. Adhering to Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule, the slides feature prominent headings and simple-to-understand charts, ensuring clarity and ease of comprehension.
Recraft pitch deck’s traction slide, characterized by its simple design and robust content, presents a compelling case for the company’s product/market fit, addressing any concerns about how this nascent startup will compete in the GenAI market dominated by industry titans like Microsoft, Adobe, and Google.
2. Competition Slide
Every business operates within a competitive landscape, and the notion of having a business idea without any competition is unrealistic. Failing to acknowledge competitors is a significant concern for investors and may indicate a lack of awareness on the part of the founders. Addressing who your startup’s competition (and how / why you’ll beat them) is critical when seeking investment. Having no competition can be perceived as a negative (rather than a positive) by investors, given that it may indicate a lack of demand for your solution.
Recraft’s solution competes with established design giants like Adobe and popular generative AI platforms such as Midjourney. Instead of downplaying the significance of competition their might, Unlike many AI pitch decks, Recraft directly addresses how the company can compete head-to-head with incumbents and potentially surpass them. As a generative AI design company, Recraft simply demonstrates how its design generation capabilities stack up against the competition.
By taking this approach, Recraft competition slide communicates to investors that the founders not only recognize the competitive landscape but are also have built the tech moat (through their foundational model) to compete within this emerging generative AI design category.
3. Ask Slide
Investors will seek clarity on why you require their funds at this specific time in your business journey. This necessitates an explanation of your current position in the business/product development phase, and why you need this funding to move to the next level. The more information investors have about the purpose behind seeking their investment, the better they can assess whether to support your company. Your objective should be to persuade investors that their funds will facilitate timely business growth, consequently enhancing the value of their investment.
The investment ask slide in the Recraft pitch deck is exceptionally comprehensive, covering all crucial information that investors need to know, including the fundraising amount, objectives, intended hires, and planned expenditures. What sets this slide apart is its effective distillation of information, avoiding overwhelm. Unlike some founders who struggle to add specifics to their investment slide, Recraft presents a detailed ask & use of funds, demonstrating the clarity and thoroughness of the thought that went into this raise.
How-to create your own pitch deck like Recraft
We hope you learned something from the Recraft pitch deck, and that you are able to use these insights for your own business. If you’d like to, you can bookmark it at bestpitchdeck.com/recraft
Although it probably goes without saying that having a successful business (outside just their pitch deck) was integral to their success, it is critical for any startup to ensure your vision is portrayed properly. That’s where crafting the perfect pitch deck comes essential:
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