Deepfake video app Avatarify, which process on-phone, plans digital watermark for videos – TechCrunch

by Jeremy

They are making deepfake videos that used to be complicated. Now all you need is a smartphone. Avatar, a startup that allows people to make deepfake videos directly on their phone rather than in the cloud, is soaring up the app charts after being used by celebrities such as Victoria Beckham. However, the problem with many deepfake videos is that there is no digital watermark to determine that the video has been tampered with.

So Avatarify says it will soon launch a digital watermark to prevent this from happening. Run out of Moscow but with a U.S. HQ, Avatarify launched in July 2020 and has been downloaded millions of times since then. The founders say that 140 million deepfake videos were created with Avatarify this year alone. There are now 125 million views of videos with the hashtag #avatarify on TikTok. While its competitors include the well-funded Reface, Snapchat, Wombo.ai, Mug Life, and Xpression, Avatarify has yet to raise money beyond an angel round.

Despite taking only $120,000 in angel funding, the company has yet to accept any venture capital and says it has bootstrapped its way from zero to almost 10 million downloads and claims to have a $10 million annual run rate with a team of fewer than ten people. It’s not hard to see why. Avatar has a freemium subscription model. They offer a 7-day free trial and a 12-month subscription for $34.99 or a weekly plan for $2.49. Without a subscription, they offer the app’s core features for free, but videos then carry a visible watermark.

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