Video is becoming an increasingly important part of news coverage online. But it’s also expensive and time-consuming to produce, and many publishers don’t have the resources to create them on their own. A startup called Wochit is changing the economics around video production for breaking news, and has raised $4.75 million to make their technology available to more publishers.
Wochit makes it easier for news organizations to have timely videos around breaking stories as they happen. By licensing raw footage from original sources, the startup produces videos that can be repurposed and embedded onto publisher sites. But the secret sauce is in how Wochit brings those pieces together — by automating the process of editing footage into watchable segments.
According to Wochit co-founder and CEO Dror Ginzberg, the process is about 95 percent automated, which drastically reduces the time and cost associated with producing timely news videos. For news organizations that aren’t local to where a particular news story is breaking, or for those who don’t have the resources or personnel to produce the content themselves, Wochit enables them to publish and monetize videos related to the news.
For each story, Wochit creates a template video that can be used by any news organization, but it can also provide more customized videos for individual publishers. That allows them to provide white-labeled videos with their own branding, incorporating their own media and basing content of the video on the text of their stories.
Altogether, Wochit is making hundreds of news videos daily, which can be embedded on publisher sites. Not only are they producing them, but they’re also updating them to provide new context and information as it happens. They also help publishers to monetize, allowing them to sell their own video ads along with or split ad revenues for ads that Wochit has sold.
To advance its go-to market strategy, Wochit has raised $4.75 million from investors that include Redpoint Ventures, Cedar Fund, and Greycroft Partners. The company was founded by Ginzberg, who previously founded image syndication platform PicApp, as well as CTO Ran Oz who was a co-founder and CTO of BigBand Networks. It now has 20 employees, with offices in Israel and New York City.