Videopixie, a Y Combinator alumnus that handles video creation and production (like filming and post-production editing), has raised $1.1 million in seed funding.
The startup connects clients — like retailers and brands — with video production professionals. Clients post in Videopixie what they are looking for, and the creators bid on the project. Videopixie largely sees projects that range in the $1,000 to $10,000 range, though they regularly go as high as $50,000. Videopixie cofounder Tom Saffell said the startup is bringing in more than $1 million in gross margin volume annually.
Those creators then show their portfolio of work to the buyer, who then decides which one to go with. Initially, Videopixie focused on post-production work — like video editing — but the startup quickly expanded to the all steps of the process after multiple requests from its clients. There are more than 1,000 creators using Videopixie, Saffell said. The main goal is to figure out the exact market rate for a video that a buyer is looking for, he said.
“If you ask your friends, you’d get some names of some great guys to work with,” Saffell said. “But they probably wouldn’t be interested in working with you unless you had at least $10,000. We actually have a lot of those kinds of production studios working in the $20,000 to $40,000 range, but where we’ve really opened up the market is people who have between $1,000 and $10,000. We’ve made the matching of buyers and sellers so much more efficient, and opened the process creators who you don’t know but do good work. Maybe they’re coming out of college or trying to fill a gap, but they still have talent.”
That kind of interest isn’t particularly surprising given the increasing number of video ads that appear in networks like Facebook. A good video can generally provide better engagement than ads attached to photos, and it’s quickly becoming a lucrative business for companies like Facebook.
Still, sometimes those buyers need a little bit of help to figure out how to attract the best creators for the best price. Videopixie suggests best practices and gives guidance for how they should price their projects. For example, when a buyer prices a project on the lower side, Videopixie tells them they may attract a creator that won’t produce the best video for which they are looking.
“The system is entirely fly by wire, it does work on its own, there is no manual intervention required,” Saffell said. “Everything can happen while we’re drinking cups of tea. We do occasionally help out, but one of the options when you post your project is to say, ‘I dont want to deal with it, I just want someone good, figure that out.’ That’s probably less than 10% of projects, and in those cases we do a little bit of manual work on back-end.”
The new investors include Jawed Karim, the cofounder of YouTube, as well as 500 Startups and other angels. Founded in 2013, the company has brought on two additional team members.