New deals pushes video hub into limelight

Dublin start-up VideoElephant is linking up with TV stations France 24 and ABC among others to offer their video content for sale online

All is calm in the Dublin offices of VideoElephant after months of work and now it is set to announce major deals with media heavyweights France 24, ABC and National Geographic among others, according to VideoElephant co-founder Stephen O'Shaughnessy.

The time has been spent putting 50,000 videos onto the company’s system as it created a centralised online video marketplace for long and short videos. Now Video Elephant is ready to launch internationally.

“It took us time to get the contracts signed,” says O’Shaughnessy, “as we’re dealing with such big names and they have to go right to the top for these types of deals, but now we’re ready to go.”

In the past six months the company founded by O'Shaughnessy and Kate Doughan has swelled in size to eight employees, boosted by just over €750,000 in investment arriving earlier this year via ACT Venture Capital, Enterprise Ireland and a few "private investors".


The money helped to fund the process involved in placing those thousands of videos, which also included content from such names as AFP, VideoJug and Newsy, into their online library.

In addition, they are dramatically increasing capacity each week. “Every day we’re getting 20 videos from AFP, while Newsy gives us 150 videos a week and so on,” says O’Shaughnessy.

24-hour access
Whether interested buyers want a video on the finest tourist attractions in Frankfurt, a visual guide to hitting the perfect fairway bunker shot or an interview with Clerks' director Kevin Smith, they can sign up easily and get content 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

With sections on news, travel, sport, celebrity, technology, nature, health and more, each of these are then divided into categories such as series, film, documentary, short form videos or bundles.

According to O’Shaughnessy, thus far their client base has focused mainly on web publishers and newspaper groups.

In the case of the former, VideoElephant can help them to get video content for their site “without having to go to the trouble of dealing directly with a huge company like France 24 or ABC themselves”.

In the case of newspaper groups, he says, “they’d love to be getting video content from 10 or 20 different sources but they just don’t have enough time to do it.

“Whereas if they deal with us they can get all that content in one place with one contract, all delivered to them in one system.”

Having already sold content to “about 300 different customers” before the deals with ABC, AFP and National Geographic were even announced, O’Shaughnessy tells how clients can buy individual videos or bundles of content (“which could be 50 travel videos or 80 celebrity interviews”), while a subscription-based model is also available.

“In that case, a company may buy €25,000 worth of credit. Take a newspaper, their staff can then go in and take videos as they need them,” he says.

Thanks to the newly announced deals, from this week it will also be possible to buy news feeds for current affairs, fashion, entertainment, sport and other areas of interest.

Propeller programme
Previous funding for the company included a €30,000 investment from Dublin City University's Ryan Academy's Propeller programme and €50,000 via Enterprise Ireland's Competitive Start-up Fund.

The business model involved sees VideoElephant make a profit by gaining a commission from every video transaction.

With more and more content coming on board each day though, commission numbers are set to increase.

Indeed, O’Shaughnessy says that in addition to the newly announced partnership deals, there are also “a few other big names to get over the line in the next week or two” which he can’t mention just yet.

“Hopefully though,” he says, “we’ll have pretty much all premium short-form content available soon enough.”