As an investor, one of the most rewarding aspects of my job is believing in and standing alongside great founders. Lucky for me, Gaurav Misra and Dwight Churchill were the first cofounders I invested in after joining a16z in 2020. Since then, they’ve confirmed for me that a combination of consumer-centric design sensibilities and cutting-edge technology is critical when building beloved products.
I first crossed paths with Gaurav during my tenure at Snap, where he built and led the design engineering team, a new products team that incubated products like Snap Maps, and much more. Gaurav, a rare full-stack founder, teamed up with Dwight, previously an early member of the team that launched Marcus, Goldman Sachs’ consumer finance business.
With the shared insight that millions of people talk to a camera every day, they set out on a mission to build an AI creative suite designed to make this behavior more seamless for content creators and consumers alike. Today, Captions helps creators quickly and easily script, record, and edit video content with a focus on short-form videos. Captions’ first feature made it easy for content creators to generate automated captions over their videos, and they’ve since launched additional features like AI Eye Contact, which corrects eye contact in post production, and AI Music, which helps creators add the right music to any video.
I believe the popularity of short-form video content—found in TikToks, Reels, Spotlight, Shorts, and countless other industry and vertical-specific platforms—is not just a fleeting trend, but an enduring behavioral shift, enabled by the amazing cameras in our pockets and the increasing appetite of content viewers. And today, a large number of creators (influencers around everything from fashion to sports, wellness, music, cooking, DIY, etc.) talk to their audiences in these short-form videos. However, there remains a significant barrier to engagement: a large portion of videos consumed on mobile are watched with the sound off. Before Captions, producing text overlays and other artifacts for these videos required a lot of time and effort.
By leveraging AI, Captions has made voice-to-text content generation seamless, and that’s just the beginning. Additional current and upcoming capabilities include AI voiceover & voice cloning, translation, visual editing, and sound effects generation.
Having first invested in Gaurav and Dwight’s company at the seed stage, then again as part of their Series A and B fundraises, we are incredibly excited to have seen the company’s growth to date and to continue partnering with them as they pursue their end vision of helping creators of all sizes and backgrounds easily create, edit, publish, and distribute high-quality content to a global audience.