Wand.app, an AI-powered creative tool that lets artists manually customize and visualize their ideas, raised $4.2 million in seed funding led by O’Shaughnessy Ventures. Wand uses visual tools and personalization to bridge the gap between AI-powered creative tools and artists who have specific visions for their work.
Wand was founded in December 2021 by CEO and founder Grant Davis. Davis told that Wand.app does not want to replace human creativity and imagination with AI, even though many tools allow users to create complex images with text prompts.
Davis said, “We should strive towards an ideal where if an artist already has a specific visual in mind, they can use this tech to bring that exact vision to life without making any compromises.” When using text prompts to guide models, compromises are inevitable because words are too ambiguous to convey visual details. Wand has an illustration tool that turns sketches into fleshed-out suggestions.
Wand lets artists teach a personal AI their style to get results that match their aesthetic. Individuals or groups can edit their work on a freeform art board.
A small group of beta testers is testing the tool. The company will release Wand in the coming months.
Davis said Wand rewards visual art skills, making it more appealing to artists and illustrators than other creative AI tools. The best users prototype, iterate, mood-board, or build worlds with clients, teams, and creative directors. Game studios, concept artists, branding firms, and architects are examples. Wand is simple enough for anyone to use, so I expect our user base to be a mix of professionals and hobbyists.”
Wand currently uses in-app credits to pay for GPU costs. Wand will consider subscriptions long-term. Creative AI products like Dalle2, Midjourney, and Dream Studio will have similar pricing.
Wand runs on mobile, tablet, and soon desktop, according to Davis, distinguishing it from other AI-powered creative tools. He says this makes editing easier and lets the company support more graphical tooling. Wand’s illustration tools also support Apple Pencil.
“Most other AI tools are more web focused,” Davis said. Wand caters more to artists than other products, and their illustration skills allow us to provide greater visual control without surfacing technical concepts or complex UIs.”
Wand plans to use the new funding to build collaborative team features and desktop creative tooling. Wand is also researching foundation model architectures and fine-tuning.
Betaworks, Charge Ventures, Long Journey, Notation Capital, Twelve Below, and BDMI funded the round. Eden Chen, Jared Hecht, Steve Martocci, and Amy Wu are angel investors.
Wand wants artists to share or sell their work-tuned models in the future. Wand believes that a feature like this would help artists be recognized and compensated for their work, given the controversy surrounding large foundation models being trained by scraping the web and including artists’ work without consent.
Wand is not yet building such a feature because it wants to ensure that the marketplace can prevent malicious actors from stealing work or sharing harmful content.
Wand is also interested in 3D modeling applications because it believes one day one can design something in 2D and have an AI turn it into a 3D model. Wand is ideal for this because its toolset naturally extends to 3D, according to Davis.