Everyone is flocking to video as audiences’ attention spans are shorter and demanding of short, engaging, visual, and interactive content with online video accounting for a whopping 74% of all web traffic according to Syndacast. VidMob has positioned itself to capitalize on this growing trend. It’s a marketplace to find video creators integrated with workflow tools to allow you to create a variety of video content at scale and efficiently. An official marketing partner of Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, the company platform makes it easy to transition your brand from text to video without worrying about how to scale your video production.
AlleyWatch spoke with CEO and founder Alex Collmer about the company and their recent Series A round of funding.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
This was a Series A financing. In this current round, VidMob raised $7.5M. Participants in the round included Manifest Investment Partners, Interlock Partners, Stampede Ventures, Acadia Woods Partners, Macanta Investments, and well as a number of angels.
Tell us about your VidMob.
VidMob helps companies of all sizes dramatically scale the quality and quantity of their video communications. It does so by combining a marketplace of highly curated and trained video creators, with a sophisticated workflow platform designed to make human creativity scalable. The company is deeply integrated into all major social platforms, and has been formally recognized as a marketing partner of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitter. Today, VidMob works with hundreds of leading brands, and is one of the largest producers of videos advertisements for social platforms.
We believed that the web was about to transition from a text and image-based medium, to a new paradigm where video becomes the dominant form of communication. But having come out of the entertainment industry, we also knew that all of this new video would have to be good. After all, if a company’s message isn’t resonating emotionally with its audience, it will not succeed. So we believed that algorithmic content creation tools would inevitably fall short, and that to be effective, the solution had to be human-based. So we set out to build a platform aimed at making human creativity far more accessible and scalable.
How is VidMob different?
VidMob is different in many ways, but it starts from a fundamental respect for human creativity. We do not hold crowdsourced competitions, and only pay the winners. With VidMob, all work is engaged on a one-to-one basis, and all creation is compensated with full up-front transparency. Additionally, VidMob is not a platform to access cheap, offshore talent. VidMob is fundamentally designed to help promote local-market labor, by making talented individuals easier to find, and easier for brands to transact with.
What market is VidMob targeting and how big is it?
VidMob is targeted at the companies and individuals who struggle with the creative challenges posed as online communication transitions from text to video. This transition is impacting advertisers, publishers, retailers and much more. Scaling up high-quality video production is hard for nearly every company. VidMob makes it easier.
What’s your business model?
VidMob is a standard vertical marketplace. We connect supply (talented creators) with demand (companies who need video advertisements and content at scale).
How many editors are on your platform?
Over 5,000 creators have signed up to be part of VidMob to-date.
What was the funding process like?
It was a great process for our business. We were lucky enough to attract an incredibly talented group of angels from our early days, and their involvement helped accelerate not only our product development, but our drive towards building a true technology platform.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
For most entrepreneurs, the biggest challenge is dealing with your most precious resource – time. Raising capital can be very time consuming, especially when you are picky about whom to get involved with. To be successful, you need to find balance between the time allocated towards fund raising, and the time dedicated to growing the kind of company that investors would be interested in being a part of.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
From early on, our investors were attracted to VidMob’s vision of a video-first world, and the challenges that this would create for companies. That said, our focus on coupling a human layer with a technology platform was challenging for a number of traditional funds, who were more interested in pure technology solutions. But luckily for us, we were able to find an incredible group of individuals and funds who understood the value of high-quality content, and the role that human creativity would play in that.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
The next 6 months will be all about growth for us. Growth in client-base, revenues, employee headcount, marketplace participants, and creative services. Of course, one of the root metrics that we watch most closely is job creation, and in the next six months we expect to create our ten thousandth job. That will be a milestone that we will be incredibly proud to achieve, on our path to creating a million jobs.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
The big thing for us was recognizing what we were good at, and focusing our service on that core offering. In the early days, distractions can cost valuable months, and the sooner a business can focus, the better.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
There’s a lot of wood to chop in our core offering right now. In the near term, I expect VidMob to continue focusing all efforts on delivering a better and better product experience each time for our customers. We make it easy for companies to make high-quality video. Tomorrow, we hope to make it ever easier.
Where is your favorite fall destination in the city?
I’m a big runner, and running in Central Park in the fall is about as good as it gets.