Stability AI gets new leadership as gen AI innovations continue to roll out

Stability AI gets new leadership as gen AI innovations continue to roll out

Image generated by VentureBeat with Stable Diffusion 3

Image generated by VentureBeat with Stable Diffusion 3

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Months after the founder and former CEO of Stability AI left under a cloud of doubt, the generative AI startup now has a new full-time CEO.

According to a report in The Information, Prem Akkaraju, former CEO of visual effects company Weta Digital is set to become the new CEO of Stability AI.  Akkaraju had been the CEO of Weta Digital since Jan 2020 and is also the co-founder and executive chairman of Screening Room. Stability AI declined to provide any official comment on the report to VentureBeat.

The news comes nearly three months after Stability AI founder and former CEO Emad Mostaque resigned back in March. Since that time the company has had Stability’s chief operating officer (COO) Shan Shan Wong and chief technology officer (CTO) Christian Laforte act as co-CEOs on an interim basis.

Among the reasons for Mostaque’s departure were concerns from investors about the financial viability of the company and its business operations. Mostaque founded Stability AI in 2019 to help advance the state of AI. Stability AI is perhaps best known for its Stable Diffusion text to image generative AI technology, which the company has continued to improve. On June 12, Stable Diffusion 3 Medium was released as the fastest more performant version of the company’s text to image generation models.

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A Reuters report released on May 16, claimed that Stability AI had lost over $30 million in the first quarter of the year, on revenue of less than five million. That same report claimed Stability AI was seeking outside investment. The report from The Information also claims that alongside the new CEO, Stability AI will be getting a cash infusion from an investor group led by Sean Parker.

Stability AI’s growing set of models and business

Stability AI has faced increasing competitive pressure over the last year. In the image generation space where Stable Diffusion exists, OpenAI’s Dall-E 3, Midjourney, Ideogram and others are increasingly commoditizing the market.

Stability AI however has diversified beyond just image generation. The company also develops a code model known as Stable Code which had a big release at the beginning of the year. Stability AI also has a text large language model known as Stable LM that has multiple model sizes including 1.6 billion, 3 billion and 7 billion parameter models. 

Audio and video are also domains where Stability AI is active. Stable Audio 2.0 was released on April 3, enabling users to generate up to 3 minutes of audio. Stable Video provides a set of text to video generation, including the ability to do 3D with Stable Video 3D (SV3D).

Underpinning all those AI models is an updated business model that debuted at the end of last year. In December 2023, Stability AI announced a membership model with the basic idea behind that organizations that want to use the technology commercially need to pay for a membership. Stability AI does continue to make some of the weights for some of its models available under a non-commercial license.

Beyond the membership, the company makes access available via an API, where organizations pay based on usage. That API can be accessed directly, or via an interface such as the Stable Artisan discord bot that was released on May 9.

Stability AI founder is working on what’s next 

While Stability AI now has a new CEO, the former CEO is still keeping busy.

Mostaque has publicly posted on X (formerly Twitter) that he is working on a new venture known as Schelling AI. Not much is known about Schelling AI at this time other than that it aims to help advance Mostaque vision for decentralized AI.

Mostaque told VentureBeat that more details on what Schelling AI is actually doing will be revealed in July.

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