OpenReel, a startup that makes it simpler for groups to file movies remotely, has raised $19 million in Series A funding.
CEO Lee Firestone informed me that he and CTO Joe Mathew first began a video company collectively, however once they got “a pretty significant project” that concerned remote production, they weren’t happy with any of the present options and ended up “spending over a year to build this technology.”
Of course, there are many groups which have found out their very own strategy to remote video production, significantly previously 12 months. (Here at TechCrunch, it has largely concerned delivery cameras and lights to writers, adopted by a number of tech troubleshooting conversations.)
But OpenReel’s “remote camera” know-how is meant to make the method a lot easier, whereas additionally giving production members extra management. The software program permits a remote director to management a webcam or cell machine, together with up to 4 folks recording and 4 folks viewing the shoot in actual time. The footage (which will be 4K high quality) is saved regionally, then robotically uploaded after the shoot. And it helps extra options like a teleprompter.
“If you talk to our clients … they would have had to put together multiple different pieces of technology, shipping or not shipping things, and even with all that, they would not have gotten the quality and seamless experience for both sides,” Firestone mentioned.
Not surprisingly, demand grew dramatically in 2020, with Firestone recalling that the platform went from supporting “thousands of video shoots a year” to “10 or 20 times that.”
In truth, the corporate mentioned that annual recurring income has elevated 12x over the previous 12 months as shoppers like Dell, HubSpot, ViacomCBS and TechCrunch’s father or mother firm Verizon Media have used it to file issues like advertising movies, inner communications, buyer testimonials and extra. It has greater than 200 enterprise shoppers, in addition to “hundreds” of small and medium enterprise prospects.
“There’s been a pent-up demand for content in these organizations that our technology … unlocks,” Firestone mentioned. And he doesn’t anticipate that altering as in-person filming turns into safer post-pandemic.
The Series A comes from Five Elms Capital, bringing OpenReel’s complete funding — debt and fairness — to $23.9 million. Firestone mentioned the cash will permit the corporate to develop new product options (one risk: assist for livestreamed movies, moderately than simply pre-recorded footage), in addition to continued world development, after a world push final 12 months that noticed the platform launching throughout 125 international locations.
“Five Elms loves investing in businesses that challenge the old way of doing things, and OpenReel does just that,” mentioned Five Elms’ Thomas Kershisnik in a press release. “OpenReel has proven itself as an important component of the remote technology stack as well as a vital tool in the broader content creation toolbox empowering enterprises to enhance their content and create more of it.”
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