Venture capital firm Sequoia India has led a $7.5 million (around Rs 50 crore) Series A funding round in New Zealand-headquartered cloud video production platform 90 Seconds.
The round also saw participation from SKY TV NZ, Airtree Ventures, Beenext and Fotolia founder Oleg Tscheltzoff.
The six-year-old company, which eyes India as its key growth market, aims to use the funds to accelerate its global expansion plans.
90 Seconds plans to increase the number of creative freelancers working for it in India to over 500 from the current 300 in the next six months. "The team will be spread out across Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore," it said in a statement.
The combined size of the content marketing, video marketing and social media sectors is estimated to be worth $118 billion by eMarketer. According to market research agency Nielsen, 64 per cent of marketers expect online video to dominate their strategies in the near future.
With increasing demand from large multinationals for localised Indian content, 90 Seconds has already produced over 100 videos in India for companies such as Rolls Royce, Cricket Australia, Financial Times, Oracle, JLL and Exxon Mobil. 90 Seconds helps brands purchase, plan, shoot, edit and review videos anywhere in the world.
Sequoia, which makes seed investments of a few hundred thousand dollars to over $50 million growth equity investments in India, also backs overseas startups. One of the most active VC firms in India, its India team has earlier invested in ventures such as Indonesian e-com venture Tokopedia and Scandinavian mobile internet startup Truecaller. Last year, it led an investment round worth $9 million in Taiwanese startup Pinkoi, an e-store for designers to sell their wares.
This year it has raised its largest India-focused fund of $920 million as it looks for early- and mid-stage investment opportunities.
"The 90 Seconds team has done a terrific job in building the leading global marketplace for video production,” said Pieter Kemps, vice president of Sequoia Capital. “In the large and rapidly growing video market, they offer creative talent and agencies a unique workflow platform to work together on global projects. This has enabled them to build a fast-growing and rapidly scaling model.”
Founded by Tim Norton, the 90 Seconds marketplace enables discovery of more than 5,000 video creative professionals in over 70 countries across 40 categories including videographers, directors, editors, producers, animators, drone operators, photographers and many more. It has worked with more than 1000 brands including Barclays, PayPal, Visa, Sony, Microsoft to produce video content; and produced over 10,000 videos till date.
90 Seconds, which claims to have achieved 300 per cent growth in revenue in the past twelve months, is also opening new offices in San Francisco, New York, Hong Kong and Berlin this year.
90 Seconds competes with Yogurt Labs and Vliv. Last year, the US and India-based mobile video production firm Yogurt Labs raised Rs 72 lakh in convertible notes from a clutch of investors, including Silicon Valley-based angel investor Nick Adams and Kiran Bhat, author of ‘No Holy Cows in Business’, and others. In December 2014, Vliv raised seed funding from Mumbai Angels and a group of executives.