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  • Writer's pictureGFR Fund

Mage: Pioneering Accessible and Fun Generative AI

We're thrilled to announce GFR Fund's investment in Mage, an innovative platform revolutionizing how users create and engage with AI-generated content. Mage stands out in the Generative AI landscape by offering an accessible, enjoyable, and unlimited experience, empowering users to generate engaging content without the complexity typically associated with AI tools.


Background: from AI enthusiasts to pioneers of accessible content creation


Mage was founded by Gregory Hunkins and Roi Lee, who connected in New York in 2019. Hunkins, a former AI developer at Lifion, and Lee, an entrepreneur who built a successful online eco-fashion company, combined their expertise and started working together.


two people standing on a balcony
Roi Lee (left) and Gregory Hunkins (right)

In 2022, Hunkins and Lee had been actively monitoring the industry when significant breakthroughs were unfolding in the field of AI. When Stability AI introduced Stable Diffusion in August, they recognized a remarkable opportunity. They decided to focus on building a consumer image generation platform using Stable Diffusion.


Hunkins and Lee founded Mage with a focus on AI enthusiasts who were passionate about creating fantasy content using fine-tuned models and LoRAs. The challenge Mage addresses is clear: making advanced AI tools easy and fun to use for everyone, breaking down the barriers that typically hinder widespread adoption.


Mage uniquely offers free, unlimited, and unfiltered access to Stable Diffusion through an intuitive user interface. This interface resembled a creation bar, similar to Google's search bar, allowing users to effortlessly input prompts for content generation.


screenshot of a website page
Screenshot of Mage's legacy platform

Community-building: cultivating a vibrant and engaged user base


Since day one, Mage has recognized the power of community-building in achieving each of its milestones.


Mage's initial growth was fueled by the launch of its minimum viable product (MVP) on HackerNews in September 2022, which garnered over 2,000 users on the first day.


Mage differentiates itself from other GenAI companies by emphasizing consumer accessibility and enjoyment. Users can generate content by playing AI apps built by the community, eliminating the need to write complex prompts, wait for extended periods, or worry about credits.


This user-centric approach has fostered a vibrant community in Discord, actively engaged in contributing feedback, reporting bugs, and suggesting new features. The founders continuously improved the product based on the feedback and were introducing new features and addressing bugs every week. By the end of 2022, Mage had amassed over 300,000 monthly active users (MAU).


Community voice is always a top priority when it comes to Mage's product development. In response to user demand, Mage introduced a subscription-based business model, offering access to fine-tuned AI models, premium features, and more powerful GPUs.


To reward the creators of fine-tuned AI models, Mage introduced the Mage AI Model Creators Program, making its community an integral part of its organic and profitable growth strategy. By May 2023, Mage had reached an impressive milestone of 1 million monthly active users (MAU).


Mage is now expanding its community to include anime lovers, meme creators, pop culture aficionados, and anyone interested in entertaining content, providing accessible AI tools to more diverse audience groups.


screenshot of a website page
Screenshot of Mage's latest platform

Backing visionary founders and a thriving community


GFR Fund is proud to support Mage's mission to democratize AI and make it accessible to everyone.


"We're incredibly excited about Mage because of the exceptional dedication and hard work of its founders, Greg and Roi," said Yasushi Komori, General Partner at GFR Fund. "Despite being a two-person team, they have achieved remarkable success, growing their platform to over 1 million users. Additionally, the strength of Mage's community is impressive, with a highly active and engaged Discord community that continuously contributes feedback and new ideas. We believe Mage's unique approach and strong community support position them to make a significant impact in the Generative AI space, and we're proud to support them on this journey."


"We love how GFR is incredibly accessible, fast, and supportive," said Roi Lee, co-founder of Mage. "From fundraising to developing the platform, GFR has been decisive and responsive. For almost all early-stage startups, some evolution and pivots are inevitable, and GFR has been extremely supportive throughout the process."


Mage's journey from a niche AI tool to a widely popular platform demonstrates the power of making advanced technology accessible and enjoyable. With the support of GFR Fund and other investors, we look forward to seeing the incredible content the Mage community will create next.

 

If you're an investor or LP looking for partnership opportunities, reach out to us at hello@gfrfund.com. For startups, please pitch to us by filling out this form. We'd love to hear from you!

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