Read the 11-page pitch deck AI startup Hour One used to raise a $20 million Series A

Conceptual art for Hour One startup, AI-driven platform to create virtual avatars.
Hour One.
  • Israeli startup Hour One allows users to make avatars, or “virtual humans,” using AI.
  • In April 2022, Hour One announced it raised a $20 million Series A round led by Insight Partners.
  • Here is the 11-page pitch deck they used to woo investors.

Virtual humans are no longer imaginary characters in sci-fi novels. There are virtual influencers with millions of followers, like Miquela, and companies are using avatars in place of humans to make work more efficient.

Hour One, an Israeli startup founded in 2019 by CEO Oren Aharon and CTO Lior Hakim, is one of the companies helping to create these “virtual humans,” or AI-generated avatars.

The platform allows users to generate videos featuring avatars, without code, using AI.

Users can select from a range of pre-existing characters or model a character on a real person. They can then insert the text they want the avatar to say, choosing from over 35 different languages and a variety of accents, and  upload pictures to accompany the avatar and serve as a background. A video with a talking “virtual human” is generated within minutes. 

Hour One’s clients use the service to generate avatar-led videos like language lessons, product tutorials, or HR and recruiting videos.

The company functions on a subscription model, which starts at $49 a month for 18 minutes of videos per year. Many clients have enterprise-grade deals that are negotiated on a case-by-case basis, depending on how and how often they use the platform. 

Hour One currently works with corporate clients like NBC Universal and Defiance Media on video content creation featuring the AI-generated avatars.

Some clients use the self-service platform Hour One provides, called “Reals,” to generate fully-produced videos automatically. Others have a more direct relationship with the company and a more customized experience.

In late August, the company announced a new feature called “News,” which allows users to select from a range of 3D newsroom environments to place their virtual news anchor. Defiance Media, a 24/7 news outlet, was one of the first Hour One clients to try the feature.

“Video is the most pervasive media,”  said Natalie Monbiot, head of strategy at Hour One. “We want to work with video. We don’t want to work in actual immersive media, that requires headsets, but we want to create the effect of immersiveness, because that draws people in more.”

The company raised a $5 million seed round in 2020 and went out to investors again in late 2021. In April 2022, they announced a $20 million Series A led by New York-based Insight Partners.

It wasn’t difficult to convince investors, Hour One cofounder Aharon said, adding that it was helpful that the company had videos illustrating how the service works that they brought to pitch meetings.

They also used a pitch deck, which they sent investors after meeting them. The deck also included videos, which helped provide proof of concept.

“The videos that are proving both the use cases, proving what our customers are saying, proving the technology, showing the quality,” Aharon said. “We market ourselves with videos that we can create using our technology and doubling the proof regarding how the process works.”

Read through the 11-page pitch deck Hour One sent to investors to raise a $20 million Series A round:

Note: The original pitch deck included videos within a PDF presentation. These videos are linked in the description of the corresponding slide.

The pitch deck begins with the company logo and slogan.

Hour One.

The company’s slogan: Bringing the Human to the Virtual

The second slide briefly presents company data and an introductory video.

Hour One.

This slide originally included a video, which can be seen at this link.

The slide reads:

Hour One at a Glance



Videos Produced

Key Investors – $5MM (Seed)

Galaxy Interactive (NY), Remagine Ventures (TV -LND), Kindred Ventures (SF), Tapestry Ventures (SF)

Trusted by the world’s leading organizations

Berlitz, NBC Universal, DreamWorks, Cameo, Zillow, Alice Receptionist

The third slide provides a company description and mission statement.

Hour One.

This slide originally included a video, which can be seen at this link.

The slide reads:

Create and commercialize virtual humans for business use

Businesses today are increasingly dependent on high quality content to enable their transformation growth. Top quality content consists of narrative told through an immersive and scalable medium. And this is where Hour One comes in. 

We give organizations the ability to tell stories about their services and products, narrated by lifelike narrators, with breakthrough automation, enabling a quality of storytelling that has never been accessible to businesses and non-professional content creators. We remove the barriers, and unlock the benefits, to the costly, manual and resource intensive process of traditional video production. 

Hour One has built Reals, an end to end video creation platform, powered by AI. Reals enables individuals and teams to create studio-grade video, simply by typing text. We allow teams to create, and collaborate and build new products to drive digital transformation and growth.

Then, the deck moves into a market analysis.

Hour One.

This slide looks at the market for video and its intersection with no-code automation, the segment Hour One focuses on. The graph highlights tech and behavioral market trends from 2015, with projections until 2025.

The slide reads:

Market opportunity at intersection of explosion in video + no-code automation

Market Size

The video market size for work at $33B in 2020, to reach $45.6B by 2025. (Statista)

No-code automation

+83% in 2021

Video messaging for work (@2020)

7 million people across 90,000 companies on Loom

Video Market Stats

The next slide includes a value proposition.

Hour One.

The slide reads:

Value proposition

Video has taken the consumer web by storm with platforms providing the tools to create engaging video for self-expression and monetization. 

The business world wants to use the benefits of video to increase engagement and build products relevant for audiences of all generations.

Hour One’s platform offers a toolset to create studio-grade videos in a way that is simple, automated, scalable and cost-effective, enabling businesses to dramatically improve their customer experience.

The following slide presents “Reals,” the company’s self-service platform to create virtual characters.

Hour One.

The slide reads:

With Reals, Hour One’s self-service platform, users can create studio-grade video instantly by typing in text.

No code required
Make studio quality videos from text in minutes

Voices & Languages
Choose from a diverse range of voices and languages

Choose from 100+ presenters or bring your own 

Data Input
Bring and connect a range of data inputs and assets

A presentation video explaining the “Reals” service follows.

Hour One.

This slide originally included a video, which can be seen at this link.

The slide reads:

Tutorial Video
Create presenter-led tutorials to explain your product features,  for a successful user experience.

The next slide describes the company’s target customer.

Hour One.

The slide reads:

Target Customer

People and businesses that know the value of video for upgrading customer experience, as well as internal and external communications 

  • Video-enabled companies
  • Digital product & customer experience teams
  • Small, medium & enterprise
  • Across E-learning, E-commerce, Digital Health, Human Resources and more…
  • No video production skills

The next slide includes a case study, long-standing client Berlitz.

Hour One.

This slide originally included a video, which can be seen at this link.

It provides a case study of one of Hour One’s longest-standing clients, a company providing language-learning services called Bertliz. Berlitz uses Hour One’s avatars to create online language lessons.

“[Berlitz] had a very in-person customer experience, which was teaching in classrooms, and they needed to digitally transform in order to scale and thrive in a very competitive language learning space,” Monbiot said. “Through a very thorough process, they selected us. We were still a very young company, and we were able to deliver a tremendous number of videos and really help them build their online offering.”

The slide reads:

Case study
Language learning

Berlitz leverages Hour One to scale instructor-led learning and digitally transform its business.

Over 18,000 full HD videos create, across three languages, in a matter of weeks, saving a year of internal staffing hours.

The description is followed by a quote from Berlitz’s CEO, Curt Uehlein:

“Berlitz has built our methodology and brand on delivering the best outcomes for students serious about fluency, which requires a very human centric experience. Our digital experiences had to replicate the classroom experience. Doing that successfully means Berlitz can extend our reach into new markets, and be more accessible to students, removing barriers of location and affordability.”

Lastly, there is a slide which lists some of Hour One’s key employees.

Hour One.

This slide shows some of the Hour One’s employees, highlighting key hires that brought experience and expertise to the company.

The slide reads:

Oren Aharon, PhD, CEO, Co-Founder
Founder: Vectorious, Kadoor
Samsung Corporate Strategy Office & Catalyst Fund
Physics, MBA, PhD E.E

Lior Hakim, CTO, Co-Founder
Technologist: A.I., social networks (eToro),
Co-inventor of Colored Coins blockchain paper
foreseeing Ethereum and ICOs
Math, Physics, Bezalel

Natalie Monbiot, Head Of Strategy (NYC)
SVP Futures at Publicis One & UM
Masters Oxford

Amir Konigsberg, PhD, Head of Partnerships
4X founder/CEO; Twiggle; mySupermarket; Pragma;
Strategy at Google
PhD game theory, Princeton

Liron I. Allerhand, PhD, Head of A.I. Research
Senior data scientist at Microsoft
PhD and postdoc in A.I.

Gil Ariel, Head Of Revenue & Growth
CEO at Monetize Lab; Entrepreneur & Investor “eToro”
VP Sales & BD eToro
Executive Master Kellogg Recanati

Arnon Kahani, Head of Engineering
VP R&D Mantis Vision; CommonGround AI
ML Engineer, Real Time Communication SAAS eng

Guy Bar, Head of Managed Services
CEO at Y&R Israel; Chief Creative Officer BBR
Saatchi & Saatchi
Management, brand strategy, MARCOM, creative

Corrine Yahav, HR Manager
HR Expert Deloitte; Microsoft R&D; Intel
HR Expert, Career Coach, Master In Org. Consulting

Oded Granot, VP VFX
Visual Effects expert
Four-times oscar winner (group)
Spiderman, Blade Runner, First Man, Life of Pi

The pitch deck ends with the company logo.

Hour One.
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