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VOCHI raises additional $2.4 million for its computer vision-powered video editing app – TechCrunch

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VOCHI, a Belarus-based startup behind a clever computer vision-based video editing app used by online creators, has raised an additional $2.4 million in a “late-seed” round that follows the company’s initial $1.5 million round led by Ukraine-based Genesis Investments last year. The new funds follow a period of significant growth for the mobile tool, which is now used by more than 500,000 people per month and has achieved a $4 million-plus annual run rate in a year.

Investors in the most recent round include TA Ventures, Angelsdeck, A.Partners, Startup Wise Guys, Kolos VC, and angels from companies like Belarus-based Verv and Estonian unicorn Bolt. Along with the fundraising, VOCHI is elevating the company’s first employee, Anna Bulgakova, who began as head of marketing, to co-founder and chief product officer.

According to VOCHI co-founder and CEO Ilya Lesun, the company’s idea was to provide an easy way for people to create professional edits that could help them produce unique and trendy content for social media that could help them stand out to become more popular. To do so, VOCHI leverages a proprietary computer vision-based video segmentation algorithm that applies various effects to specific moving objects in a video or images in static photos.

“To get this result, there are two trained [convolutional neural networks] to perform semi-supervised Video Object Segmentation and Instance Segmentation,” explains Lesen of VOCHI’s technology. “Our team also developed a custom rendering engine for video effects that enables instant application in 4K on mobile devices. And it works perfectly without quality loss,” he adds. It works pretty fast, too — effects are applied in just seconds.

The company used the initial seed funding to invest in marketing and product development, growing its catalog to over 80 unique effects and 30 filters. Today, the app offers several tools that let you give a video a particular aesthetic (like a dreamy vibe, artistic feel, or 8-bit look, for example). It also can highlight the moving content with glowing lines, add blurs or motion, apply different filters, insert 3D objects into the video, add glitter or sparkles, and much more.

In addition to editing their content directly, users can swipe through a vertical home feed in the app to view the video edits others have applied to their content for inspiration. When they see something they like, they can tap a button to use the same effect on their video. The finished results can then be shared to other platforms, like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Though based in Belarus, most VOCHI’s users are young adults from the U.S. Others hail from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and parts of Europe, Lesen says.

Unlike some of its video editor rivals, VOCHI offers a robust free experience where around 60% of the effects and filters are available without paying, along with other essential editing tools and content. More advanced features, like effect settings, unique presents, and various special effects require a subscription. This subscription, however, isn’t cheap — it’s either $7.99 per week or $39.99 for 12 weeks. This seemingly aims the subscription more at professional content creators rather than casual users just looking to have fun with their videos from time to time. (A one-time purchase of $150 is also available if you prefer.)

To date, around 20,000 of VOCHI’s 500,000 monthly active users have committed to a paid subscription, and that number is growing at a rate of 20% month-over-month, the company says.

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Tristan McCue is a 26-year-old junior programmer who enjoys reading, binge-watching boxed sets, and appearing in the background on TV. He is smart and friendly, but can also be very evil and a bit lazy.He is an Australian Christian. He has a post-graduate degree in computing.
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