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Interview: Simona Vasyte-Kudakauske of Perfection42

Simona Vasyte-Kudakauske is the CEO and co-founder of Perfection42. The Lithuanian startup develops new artificial intelligence capabilities for automating the process of creating 2D and 3D computer graphics. Seeing a startup tackle two of the hottest tech areas of the moment, video games and AI, we couldn’t resist asking Simona some questions about the market, Perfection42, and herself.

Tell us about yourself. How did you end up in the startup world?

If someone were to ask me how I got to where I am today, I would say it was luck. After graduating from university with a degree in molecular biology, I quickly realised that it wasn’t the career path for me. So, I decided to try my hand at something new: IT.

I started out as a project manager in a small web design agency, where I learned the basics of the field. But it wasn’t until a chance encounter at a dance party that my luck really began to change. I met Kes, and we hit it off right away. He told me about his gaming startup and asked me to join as a co-founder.

Fast forward to today, and Kes and I are still working together. In fact, this is our second venture as a co-founding team. It’s amazing how one chance meeting can change the course of your life. I feel incredibly lucky to have met Kes and to be able to work with him to bring our ideas to life.

I’ve learned that sometimes the best things in life come from taking risks and seizing opportunities. 

And what were you doing previous to Perfection42?

Before starting Perfection42, Kes and I co-founded a gaming company called Outlander Studios. Our biggest success was a game called Battle Towers, which went on to be downloaded over 8 million times worldwide. It was an incredible experience, and we were both proud of what we had accomplished.

However, after some time, I decided to take a new challenge and pursue a career as a product manager. I landed a role at Vinted, the Lithuanian unicorn, and was one of their first five product managers. It was a thrilling opportunity to work for a company that was transforming the second-hand fashion industry and making a positive impact on sustainability.

Although I enjoyed my time at Vinted, I knew that my true passion lay elsewhere. So, Kes and I reunited to start Perfection42, where we are using our expertise to automate AI-based solutions and create real change in the industry.

What does Perfection42 do, in plain language?

Creators nowadays are expected to deliver ever-higher quality content, faster and cheaper than competition. We – amplify their creativity by automating mundane and time consuming tasks. Together with us, creators can focus on uniqueness while we – focus on productivity.

What is your target market? Who would be your typical user?

Perfection42’s target market is the animation, VFX, and video games market. 

How big is this market?

The latest industry research reveals that the market size for our industry was a staggering $419 billion in 2020. This is a testament to the increasing demand for the services we offer and the incredible growth potential of the industry.

The research also projects that the industry size will continue to expand, with an estimated market size of USD 517 billion by 2027. This represents a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.1% during the period of 2021-2027.

Tell us more about the technology you are using. How does it work? How long did it take you to develop it or reach an MVP?

The company has two AI technologies, Graphical AI and Designer AI, that are being used in these industries.

Graphical AI is an AI technology that automates high-quality animation and VFX creation. The AI learns the nuances and requirements of a project through Keyframes and then transforms the original input material to meet the project’s specifications. This technology can be used for a range of graphical tasks automation, including rotoscope automation, denoising, upscaling and others.

Designer AI, on the other hand, is targeted toward gaming and allows for level creation automation. The technology enables game developers to create game levels quickly, freeing them from the tedious and time-consuming process of level creation.

The journey of developing our technology has been a gradual process, spanning several years. The initial experiments commenced in 2018, with a strong focus on developing designer AI technology. As we continued to work on this technology, it became increasingly apparent that our approach was not as scalable as we would have preferred.

This realisation led us to shift our focus towards graphical AI technology at the start of 2020. We realised that this new technology held the key to scalability, and would allow us to serve multiple clients simultaneously. Since then, we have made significant strides in developing and perfecting our graphical AI technology.

You recently raised a round of funding. Tell us more – who led and participated, what will you use the funds for? What does it mean in Perfection42’s continued journey?

Perfection42 has recently secured a Seed round of €1.1 million in funding from prominent early-stage investors, including venture capital funds CoInvest Capital and Open Circle Capital, the LitBAN business angels syndicate, and private investors.

This investment marks a significant milestone for the company and represents a crucial step in realising its vision. The primary goal of this funding is to automate and scale up the company’s technology, allowing it to serve multiple clients simultaneously and make a significant impact in the industry.

Perfection42 is also focused on strengthening its technical team and investing in sales and marketing channels to increase its brand presence and reach a wider audience. The company is committed to sharing its passion and commitment to excellence and is determined to achieve its goals with the support of its investors.

How do you assess the startup ecosystem in Lithuania?

The Lithuanian startup ecosystem is growing. It is exciting to see more successful companies emerging, including unicorns. These companies are producing highly skilled professionals who are making the whole ecosystem much more mature.

If you could change one thing about the ecosystem for the better, what would it be?

In the world of startups, the focus is often on success stories. However, it’s equally important to talk about failures, as they are an integral part of the learning process. No one is immune to failure, and accepting this fact is crucial in the journey of building a startup. Sharing stories of failure not only helps to normalise the idea that failure is a possibility, but it also encourages accountability. When entrepreneurs are willing to talk about their failures, they show a level of vulnerability and responsibility that can inspire others to do the same.

What’s next for Simona and Perfection42?

We are driven by a bold vision: to create a Photoshop for AI-solutions. We believe that automation and AI-based solutions are the key to unlocking new possibilities and transforming industries.

Our recent Seed investment round is a significant milestone in our journey towards achieving this vision. It gives us the opportunity to take a small step forward in scaling up our technology and bringing it to a wider audience.

Our primary goal now is to automate and scale up our technology. By doing so, we will be able to serve multiple clients simultaneously, making a significant impact in the industry. This will allow us to create more opportunities for businesses to leverage the power of automation and AI-based solutions to drive real results.

In addition to automating and scaling up our technology, we are working hard to strengthen our technical team, investing in sales and marketing channels. Our aim is to increase our brand presence and reach a wider audience, sharing our passion and commitment to excellence.

As we move forward, we remain committed to delivering innovative solutions, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and creating a better future for our clients and the industry as a whole.

I am thrilled to be part of our team and excited about what we have achieved so far. However, this success also comes with additional responsibilities as a founder. I am committed to growing as fast as our startup, which means facing new challenges and opportunities with eagerness and determination. I am ready to take on whatever lies ahead and continue to push our startup towards even greater success.

What’s the best way for people to stay updated with the latest from you?

You can follow the Perfection42 LinkedIn page for more news from us.

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