Stringr, a video-focused startup that says it can help news organizations adapt to the challenges of COVID-19, is announcing that it has raised $5.75 million in new funding.
When I wrote about the the company at the end of 2015, it was creating a marketplace that connected news organizations with videographers who could provide them with news footage. Since then, co-founder and CEO Lindsay Stewart (a former TV news producer herself) told me the network has grown to more than 100,000 videographers.
At the same time, Stringr has added new tools for things like live streaming, transcription and editing, creating what Stewart described as “the most efficient video production platform.”
And she suggested that media companies need a platform like this more than ever. Yes, some Stringr customers are just using the service when they need footage, but she said others see Stringr as a purely cloud-based solution for producing news programming “when nobody’s coming into the office.”
And speaking of footage, newsrooms are going to need help on that front too, particularly with the COVID-19 pandemic having a dramatic impact on the media industry’s bottom line.
“I don’t think it’s lost on anyone that media companies … the business model, even more than before COVID, has been challenged,” Stewart added. So those companies are turning to Stringr for help in figuring out “how they become as cost-effective as they possibly can, while still providing a valuable service to society overall.”
Stringr has also launched a division called Embed Studios that taps into the startup’s videographer network to create content for brands, including Corcoran, Zillow, HBO Max, Amazon, Lightworkers, TikTok, Mastercard, United Way and MGM.
The company has now raised a total of $7.25 million. The new funding comes from Thomson Reuters, as well as previous investors G5 Capital and Advection Growth Capital.
It sounds like the Reuters investment is part of a broader partnership where the wire service’s customers can request video footage from Stringr. In fact, Stewart said that the startup’s work with Reuters is also pushing it to recruit videographers globally, starting in western Europe. (It was previously focused on the United States and the United Kingdom.)