Capsule raises $2 million for its video Q&A platform aimed at brands – TechCrunch

CapsuleA video Q&A platform aimed at brands emerged last year in direct response to companies facing challenges in terms of reaching consumers during the epidemic. Now, the business has closed at $ 2 million in pre-seed funding. The round was led by Array Ventures and featured participation from Bloomberg Beta and other angels.

The startup was founded by the same team that originally created the animated GIF capture tool and social network Fahto, Who eventually lost to Instagram clone, Boomerang. Phhhoto closed in 2017 and the team agreed to work on an experiential marketing business, Hypo. The new company was working with brands that hosted live events and experiences as a way to connect with customers. Hypno will offer them things like photo booths and other camera platforms that allow for interactivity.

The COVID-19 epidemic essentially killed Hypo’s business as live events dried up. However, the brands Hypo worked with still had the same needs – they just had to go a different way about reaching their customers.

Image Credit: Capsule

Thus the capsule is present. Launched last year, the startup offers a complete platform to host Q&A sessions, where the brand starts with a template, which they then change to match their campaign by changing the logo, color, button, background and URL Optimize eating – video Q&A format like a Squarespace.

The brand will then write their questions and prompts to give consumers answers in the form of short video responses. This Q&A URL is distributed, however the company chooses – such as on social media, for example. A new feature also allows “capsules” to be embedded on the website.

Consumers’ responses to Q&A are curated for the final video product. What makes the technique even more interesting is how the capsule assembles this footage.

The capsule instantly and automatically processes the video, adding elements such as music and graphics, pre-roll or post-roll, resulting in the video appearing professionally edited. The startup does this using its own JavaScript-based programming language that automates the mixing of things like color, audio, graphics, and dynamic types. All customers have to choose the kind of video they want – such as an energetic feel or more absorbing, for example.

Today, the capsule has developed its library into about 20 base templates. But each of these can be edited by changing colors, styles, and even music – including direct uploads or thousands of royalty-free track capsules.

According to capsule co-founder Champ Bennett, the platform’s flexibility has given rise to a wide range of use cases. Although the company’s first customers came from the live event space, which was completed by Hypo, new customers soon began adopting the product.

“We immediately started to hear from both our existing customers and then, suddenly, a group of new customers who were coming our way is that the platform was useful in so many different contexts,” he explains. “For example, the U.G.C. [user-generated content] To promote campaign or social content to a business, or awareness, or product reviews and testimonials, or even creators who wanted a faster way to create content that would look and feel a little more professional, ” Says Bennett.

At the time of launch, the capsule was used by companies such as Netflix and entities such as OKFrica. It has since contracted with hundreds of customers, including teams with large organizations such as Google, Samsung, Salesforce, Deloitte, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as other small-to-medium businesses such as Paloma Health. The USO has also used capsules.

These brands and others are particularly hungry for the tools that help them create original, short-form video content, which is becoming an important way businesses are marketing their products and services. Capsule notes that have studied The hint Video click-through rates are two-three times higher than static images and 95% of businesses Reporting His videos increase from year to year.

The epidemic had intensified the current demand for video content, but brands faced challenges to the scale of video.

“Increasingly, brands have started to hack the way they can make videos,” says Bennett. “And one of the ways they are doing this is by tapping into different creators within their organizations – whether it’s employees or founders or partners or influencers or fans of the brand or whatever – then getting them on their behalf Activating to create content, ”he continues. “We call this community-generated content, which is like an iteration on user-generated content. The idea is that content can come from anywhere. “

Capsules says he wanted to work with Array Ventures, GP Shruti Gandhi, who has an engineering background, as he understood core technology very deeply. He said the team introduced Bloomberg Beta in New York, which immediately understood what the capsule was, Bennett says.

With the additional funding, the capsule will hire a product designer and develop new collaboration features, such as the ability to highlight content.

For a long time, the company believes that its platform will enable more people to engage in video production.

“It turns out that there are a lot of people within businesses who are capable of creating video content. They just don’t have the technical know-how to do it. They are not video editors, ”says Bennett. “So what we’re really doing is unleashing this creative potential that exists everywhere inside businesses, small and big.”