Has there ever been a more challenging time to be a global media agency? With disruptive new social media platforms springing up nearly every day led by ambitious entrepreneurs, video sharing becoming commonplace and smartphones turning every one of us into wannabe film-makers, the sector is a little congested, to say the least.
In one sense the breaking down of traditional reporting barriers is exciting and empowering, in another, as the tidal wave of content grows ever larger, and more unpredictable, do we risk sacrificing quality for quantity?
This is the reason why a company such as Wochit is such an attractive proposition right now – an independent, flexible and agile start-up that can also dovetail seamlessly with the requirements of major players like Time Inc, Johnston Press, and Svenska Dagbladet – all companies who have signed up for Wochit’s video creation platform in the last 12 months.
Latest $13m raise brings total funding to $28m+
Last week the company announced that they had raised $13m in fresh funding from media giants including ProSieben, Singapore Press Holdings Media Fund, angel investor Carlo de Beneditti (who has also backed the likes of ad outreach firm Taboola as part of their $117m Series A), and existing investors Redpoint, Marker LLC and Cedar Fund.
Wochit’s platform allows media agencies to curate video content to aid the storytelling process, quickly, accurately, and reliably. Agencies can use the company’s Chrome extension or library to search topics and discover relevant images, videos, tweets and infographics, check out what’s trending, or complete detailed searches for specific content.
Wochit maintains a “vast library” of content drawn from sources including Reuters, Getty, Bloomberg and Stringr, and gives its users access to all of it, as well as providing powerful editorial tools allowing agencies to overlay commentaries, animations, sounds and graphics.
The platform also provides cropping and editing tools to fit users’ target feeds, be it Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter, and lets clients upload natively direct from the platform.
According to the company’s website, Wochit helped more than 350 media agencies create 15,000+ videos last month, which were shared a whopping 3.2m times.
As Wochit points out, each of these new investors brings with them dozens of media brands who will all benefit from the company’s services – “rapid, cost-effective production of timely, socially optimized video.” No licensing issues either as Wochit takes care of this itself.
What they said
Wochit co-founder and CEO Dror Ginzberg:
“I’m proud that such esteemed media organizations value the impact Wochit is having on the industry to a degree that they are taking a stake in our continued growth. We’re confident that this investment will give us the ability to continue to drive results for our current partners and broaden our client base into new markets around the world.”
Angel backer Carlo de Beneditti said: “Wochit is an invaluable company emphasising video-based storytelling and giving publishers a powerful tool to make an historically resource intensive proposition into a user-friendly, cost-effective one.”
And Jens Doka, CPO at ProSiebenSat1 Digital, added: “The proliferation of content platforms has resulted in an incredible demand for video. With Wochit, ProSiebenSat.1 is able to produce video content at the scale needed to address this growing need”.
Carving a niche in Asia from London, Tel Aviv and New York
Wochit say that the backing of Singapore Press Holdings will give them the opportunity to significantly grow their presence in the rapidly growing Asian market, through partnerships with publications such as the The Straits Times, AsiaOne and The Business Times.
Wochit has now raised at total of $28.65 million according to CrunchBase – early investors Redpoint are also backers of Netflix and TiVo, whilst Cedar Fund, with $325m under management, is one of Israel’s most active and successful venture capital investors.
Amidst the media chaos, a one-stop-shop for finding, curating and releasing personalised video content to the right channels certainly appears to make sound business sense – why make an already complex and pressurised process harder than it needs to be by trying to merge content from different platforms with the potential legal ramifications of using unauthorised content hanging over you?
Wochit, who also have offices in New York and Israel as well as at The Trampery, one of London’s best-known co-working spaces for tech start-ups, look well set for further.
But in the ever changing world of media, where the “Red Queen” theory (you have to run as fast as you can just to stay still) abounds, doubtless the company will not want to be resting on its laurels.
How much more innovative can video content curation get. Over to you, guys.