Visual.ly, a startup that helps companies create infographics, videos, and more, has raised $3.3 million in additional funding.
The company launched with an infographic-building tool before switching to more of a marketplace model — by the time it raised its $8.1 million Series A last year, Visual.ly was billing itself a marketplace for “visual content,” a category that also includes videos and interactive graphics.
CEO Matt Cooper told me that company has continued to expand and now covers things like e-books and white papers. He tied this to the broader growth in content marketing — in other words, brands’ desire to produce blog posts, videos, and so on in an attempt to connect with consumers. (Content marketing is far from universally beloved, but at least it’s a broader category than just infographics, and it’s certainly an area where VC dollars are flowing.)
“There’s this constant demand to feed that beast, and it’s really taxing to internal marketing departments to keep up with that flow,” he said. “The rise of content marketing been a primary driver in our business growth.”
Cooper, by the way, joined Visual.ly last fall. (Co-founder and former CEO Stew Langille is now at Fountain Software.) He was previously an executive at oDesk, and he drew parallels between the two companies’ experience in building freelance marketplaces.
Visual.ly stands out, Cooper added, because of its focus on the quality of the end product, the fact that its built the “best practices” of overseeing a creative project into its technology, and its “rigorously vetted talent pool.” (The company doesn’t say exactly how many freelancers it works with, but Cooper said it’s in the “thousands.”)
The new funding is an extension of the Series A, and comes from Visual.ly’s existing investors — it was led by Crosslink with participation from 500 Startups, the Mitch Kapor Foundation and SoftTech VC.