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Exclusive: JARS AI raises $3M to build interactive shows

Apr 8, 2024
Illustration of a movie clapper with binary code in place of the stripes

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

JARS AI has raised $3 million in seed funding to build a platform for creating and watching interactive shows, CEO Chris Kruger tells Axios.

Why it matters: The funding is a bet on using generative AI for fun consumer experiences.

How it works: JARS AI is a web-based platform for creating personalized shows using several large language models. It offers a set of narratives called "JARS" and generates episodes based on submissions shared in a live chat.

  • One show dubbed "JARS Tank" riffs off "Shark Tank," where JARS AI users submit startup ideas for a character to pitch. Others include "Nature World AI," "Love AIsland" and "Yes Chef AI."
  • The goal is for the "creation of the media to be as entertaining as the output," Kruger says.
  • It just launched a feature that lets users record episodes and share them elsewhere.

Catch up quick: Kruger previously worked as director of AI at Peloton.

  • In 2023, he joined San Francisco-based incubator program South Park Commons and met his co-founder, Steffen Holm, who previously worked as a machine learning engineer at SoundHound and serves as CTO.

Zoom in: Gradient Ventures led, and was joined by Bessemer Venture Partners and South Park Commons. The seed round closed in February.

  • JARS AI previously raised $500,000, primarily from South Park Commons.
  • Kruger says he will likely raise a Series A round by early 2025.

What's next: JARS AI plans to grow from just the two co-founders and some contractors to a team of six, Kruger says.

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