VideoElephant, an Irish company whose backers include Smurfit Kappa chief executive Tony Smurfit. has raised € 5.5 million in a funding round led by Dublin-based Act Venture Capital.
The company, which has created an online library of more than two million professionally-produced videos, said it intends to use the new equity to almost double its workforce and to further develop its technology platform as it seeks to gain more market share.
The expansion comes on the back of an explosion in demand for online video content globally. A recent forecast from research company Forrester estimated that video ad spending will grow from $91 billion (€81 billion) in 2018 to $103 billion by 2023 as the total share of spend increases from 21 per cent to 34 per cent.
VideoElephant has offices in Dublin, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin and Sydney, and adds more than 2,000 new clips to its library each day covering everything from news and entertainment to travel and sports.
“Video is exploding. It is where all the advertising dollars are going right now,” said Stephen O’Shaughnessy, who founded VideoElephant in 2012.
The company sources content from media companies such as Reuters, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, Fox, EuroNews, Endemol and National Geographic, which it then licenses to online publishers and advertisers.
Range of content
“The key reason why companies come to us is because we have all the big media providers in one place and a huge range of content covering over 30 categories,” said Mr O’Shaughnessy.
“When we started off we thought of ourselves as Getty Images for video because we were focused on selling one piece of short-form content at a time but then customers started asking for bulk content so we had to change our model from a direct one-off licensing charge to a cost-per-thousand fee,” he added.
VideoElephant’s clients include Forbes, BitTorrent, PCH and AccuWeather.
Act led the latest funding round after previously backing the company with €750,000 in 2014. Its portfolio includes Corvil, Channelsight, Cubic Telecom, Arralis and Silver Cloud Health.
VideoElephant's other backers include Mr Smurfit, Hostelworld co-founder Tom Kennedy, and Enterprise Ireland. Paddy Power co-founder John Corcoran, who died last week, was an early supporter of the company.
Mr O’Shaughnessy said VideoElephant has amassed a vast collection of content. “The goal is to have the biggest library in the world and I think we may already be at that point,” he said.