Video content is increasingly comprising more of the Internet’s content and is expected to rise to 80% of all Internet content by 2019. With video becoming more popular; you need a robust platform that lends itself to creating, sharing, and uploading video with collaboration functions. This is where Frame.io comes in. The platform aids you in seamlessly collaborating with your team and with your favorite video software. Compatible with Vimeo, Slack, Final Cut, and other tools, Frame.io helps you streamline your video creation process. Frame.io, already being used by Facebook, Buzzfeed, Snapchat, among other big names, has secured 2 rounds of funding and $12M to date.
AlleyWatch chatted with CEO and cofounder Emery Wells about the company and the impact they are planning to make.
Tell us about the product or service.
At Frame.io, we’re powering the future of creative collaboration. Today’s leading media companies use Frame.io to streamline their video review and collaboration process with teammates, clients and a variety of stakeholders. We replace the hodgepodge of broken Dropbox links, Vimeo passwords, and endless email threads with a single platform that works seamlessly across web and mobile. Deep integrations with creative tools such as Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Vimeo and Slack avoid the need for context switching and let creative teams focus on their most important projects.
How is it different?
First and foremost, Frame.io was built by real filmmakers. It was built to solve our own collaboration challenges we were having on projects like the Digital Shorts for Saturday Night Live. I think you build a fundamentally different product when you have that deep understanding of the problem. With any collaboration product, a lot of the differentiation is in the details. It’s not “do we have XYZ feature.” Rather, it’s “has this been built in such a way that video teams really want to adopt it and use it in their workflow?” Do you ever have products that you want to use and maybe even try to use on a repeated basis but it never clicks? It’s never quite right so you abandoned it? We combine the features people need, wrapped up in a collaborative fabric that actually works for teams.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Frame.io is built for the business of creating video, which targets a wide range of creators and companies. We target not just the creator herself, but the entire ecosystem of participants. Our customers cover a variety of a different categories. From individual creatives and small teams, new media (BuzzFeed, Vice, The Onion), tech (Facebook, Reddit, Snapchat), online education (Lynda, Khan Academy, Udemy) and traditional education (Harvard, Yale, MIT), to the more traditional media categories: advertising agencies, production, post production, broadcast and studios. The common thread amongst all these companies is they all create video and all need better ways to collaborate with their teams and stakeholders.
What is the business model?
Since we launched Frame.io, we wanted to make it something that anyone in the creative community could access. We operate on a freemium model. So there is a free product that anyone can sign up for and start using immediately, then there are paid tiers starting at $15/month and going up to $150/month, depending on your needs.
What inspired the business?
My cofounder John and I built Frame.io because we were frustrated with our own collaboration challenges and underwhelmed by the solutions that existed. I owned a post-production company in New York City that worked on a wide range of television commercials and 100 digital shorts for Saturday Night Live. We’ve lived in the trenches as editors, producers, directors, motion graphics artists, colorists, compositors and cinematographers. We’ve felt the problems and realized there had to be a better way. The creative industry I love so much is often under served by the world of Silicon Valley, which is often where the best software is created. So we decided the status quo just wasn’t going to cut it anymore and set out to engineer the future.
Why is collaboration an important part of video?
Video is inherently a collaborative artform. Unlike writing, for example, which you can largely do by yourself, most videos that you see out there in the world require a small army to produce. I’m not just talking about the never-ending scrolling credits on Hollywood blockbusters; even your more modest internet videos often take a surprising number of people to create. Great video requires the culmination of many crafts and disciplines, all working lock and step together. Collaboration is the key to that process running smoothly. I think people are often surprised to learn just how involved the process can be.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
The past two years have been an incredible ride, but the Frame.io you see today has only scratched the surface of our vision. Over the coming months we’ll be releasing more product updates to help media pros and teams keep their creative process moving forward. We built Frame.io to live where video creatives work, so expanding the different tools and services one can integrate with Frame.io is top of mind. On that note, we plan to launch our public API later this year. And of course, we’re continuing to grow our team!
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
I think most first time founders are really misled about the fundraising process. It’s easy to read tech blogs and get the impression that any “Joe Schmo” with an idea can raise money. It seems almost every day you can read about some unlaunched stealth startup raising X millions of dollars. That gives you the impression that raising money based on nothing more than idea or early prototype is doable for anyone. If you look a little deeper, these founders almost always have a previous track record. If you are unproven, you’ll likely have to get much further along in your startup journey before attracting the interest of institutional money. The good news is that the market tends to tell you pretty quickly when the time is right.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
One of the coolest and most rewarding parts of being on this startup journey are all the incredible people you meet. I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people in NYC but perhaps the primary NYC startup champion, Fred Wilson, would be fun to meet? He seems like a smart guy.
Why did you launch in New York?
Because I’m a New Yorker. I wish I had a more thoughtful reason but I moved to NYC in 2002 to pursue my dream of becoming a filmmaker. When launching Frame.io a few years ago, my cofounder and I discussed heading out west and building the business in SF or LA. SF for obvious reasons and LA due to its concentrated media market. NYC felt like a good balance between the two. We have a strong startup ecosystem and a strong media market. I think there is also something alluring about the idea of succeeding in NYC. We’ve yet to see a breakout star the size of Facebook or Google. We’re up for the challenge.