Dublin-headquartered VideoElephant raises €5.5m in Series A round

8 Jul 2019

Image: Microgen/Stock.adobe.com

VideoElephant’s founder, Stephen O’Shaughnessy, came up with the idea for his start-up after creating a series of 500 travel videos of cities from all over the world and exploring the possibility of licensing his videos to large publishers.

VideoElephant, a company that aggregates premium video content online to license it to web publishers and ad-tech providers, has raised €5.5m in Series A funding.

The company, which was founded in Dublin in 2012, collects videos from content providers such as Bloomberg, Fox, Hearst, ITN, Al Jazeera, Euronews, France 2, Billboard and Now This. VideoElephant’s library contains almost 2m videos, with 2,000 new videos added each day. These videos are then licensed to companies such as USA Today, ByteDance and Comcast.

Since the company was launched in 2012, it has expanded to New York and London, where it also has offices.

The recent investment comes largely from ACT Venture Capital, which has 200 founders in its portfolio.

Stephen O’Shaughnessy, VideoElephant’s founder, conceived the idea for his company after he created a series of 500 travel videos of cities from all over the world, for a portfolio of websites he owned.

In doing so, he explored the potential of licensing his videos to other large publishers, but discovered that there was no centralised marketplace where video producers could syndicate their content. He identified this as an opportunity to build a platform where publishers could access videos from multiple sources centrally.

Now, as the market for online video advertising grows, VideoElephant serves as a handy solution, as O’Shaughnessy explained: “Advertisers are increasingly betting that video is the most effective way to spread their message. This creates an interesting problem for web publishers: how to publish enough engaging video content in order to attract the growing advertising budgets looking to target the right traffic. VideoElephant delivers that video content seamlessly within seconds.”

As well as receiving financial support from ACT Venture Capital and Enterprise Ireland, VideoElephant is benefitting from the AIB Seed Capital Fund.

John O’Sullivan, who led the investment for ACT Venture Capital, said: “When we started working with VideoElephant and invested in them with the AIB fund, the concept was really strong – but getting two-sided marketplaces to work is quite a ‘chicken and egg’ type problem.

“But they did it. They convinced the owners of some of the best video content available to work with them and test whether this could work at scale for publishers, and they were proved right.”

With this new funding, VideoElephant plans to double its workforce (and is currently actively recruiting), while expanding its global offices to include Los Angeles, Berlin and Sydney. The company also plans to invest heavily in its IP and AI technology to encourage the growth of its video libraries.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic