In a significant boost to the no-code design space, Spline, a tool for creating 3D assets, has announced a successful seed funding round of $15 million. The round was led by Gradient Ventures, with participation from First Round Capital, NXTP, Chapter One, Vercel CEO Guillermo Rauch, Y Combinator, Webflow CEO Vlad Magdalin, and Backend Capital. The funding will be used for research and development and to expand the startup’s 20-person team.
The Journey of Spline
Co-founder and CEO Alejandro Leon, who has been passionate about 3D since childhood, launched Spline in 2020 with the aim of making the 3D design process simpler and more accessible. The startup was accepted into one of Y Combinator’s 2021 batches and launched in beta in March of the same year.
Spline’s Unique Offering
Spline allows users to create 3D objects, edit materials, add interactivity (including game controls) and animations, and export them, all from a web browser. Users can start from scratch or use pre-made objects. The platform’s collaboration features enable users to work together to fine-tune and comment on assets, and create real-time physics simulations and interactions between those assets. Designs can be exported as image files, GIFs, and more, or embedded in web pages using a few strings of code.
The Role of AI in Spline’s Future
Leon sees generative AI as the next logical step for Spline’s platform, which competes with incumbent tools like Blender and Cinema 4D. Spline recently added AI-style transfer and AI texture tools to its suite, and it’s exploring ways to use prompts for content creation using large language models, following in the footsteps of companies like OpenAI and Meta.
“We believe that AI can empower more designers to easily get started by reducing the friction and complexity of the 3D creation process,” Leon added. “There are a lot of complexities in the 3D creation process, so this is an ongoing effort and overall challenge, but we think AI will be an important part of making 3D creation more accessible for anyone.”
A Growing Community of Creators
To date, over 1 million creators have joined Spline, a fact that has left Darian Shirazi of Gradient Ventures impressed. “We’re blown away by the product Alejandro and the Spline team have created,” Shirazi, a general partner at Gradient, said via email. “And the community of creators that have found Spline and fallen in love with its capabilities is equally impressive. The future of computing and communication is driven by 3D, and we believe Spline is at the crossroads of creativity … and AI.”
As 3D becomes a default content format alongside images, audio, and video, Spline is well-positioned to revolutionize the 3D design process, making it more accessible and intuitive for creators worldwide.
Please email us your feedback and news tips at hello[at]dailycompanynews.com