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Sequoia India leads $7.5m investment in Singapore-based cloud video production platform 90 Seconds

Harshith Mallya
12th Apr 2016
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90 Seconds, a cloud video production platform based in Singapore, on Tuesday announced that it had raised $7.5 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia India. Other investors include SKY TV NZ, Airtree Ventures, Beenext and Oleg Tscheltzoff, founder of Fotolia.com (sold to Adobe for $860 million).

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Tim Norton, Founder of 90 Seconds

Image credits- 90 Seconds Media

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Launched in 2010 by Tim Norton, 90 Seconds is a cloud video production platform. It allows brands to purchase, plan, shoot, edit and review videos anywhere in the world, online and on mobile. The company had earlier raised two seed rounds of funding in 2013 and 2015.

The platform gives brands and agencies access to a marketplace of creatives, and an automated, end-to-end suite of workflow tools. The 90 Seconds marketplace aims to enable flexible and easy discovery of more than 5,000 video creative professionals in over 70 countries across 40 categories. Tim, CEO of 90 Seconds, said:

Video content is a must have in today’s world and we are proud to have developed a solution that works for brands around the globe to deliver fast, affordable content. We are excited to work with our new and existing investors who understand the opportunity 90 Seconds has to completely change the global video production landscape.
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90 Seconds has worked with more than 1,000 brands including Visa, PayPal, Sony, Samsung, Barclays and Microsoft. To date, the startup claims to have produced over 10,000 videos in 70 countries. In some major cities, clients can start projects with advance notice of just 30 minutes. Julian Bucknaill from Barclays said,

I could see what the editors were doing and how the shoots had gone that day. So all really good stuff in terms of real-time updates which was really important to me as a client.

Along with brands, 90 Seconds also works with agencies on global projects and provides integration with popular video distribution platforms, storage platforms and stock libraries including Youtube, Vimeo, Dropbox and Google Drive. Pieter Kemps, VP of Sequoia Capital, said,

The 90 Seconds team has done a terrific job in building the leading global marketplace for video production. 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.

In India, 90 Seconds has already produced over 100 videos for companies such as Rolls Royce, Cricket Australia, Financial Times, Oracle, JLL and Exxon Mobil as there is an increase in demand for localised Indian content for large multi-nationals from the 90 Seconds SEA and Australian offices.

Sector overview

eMarketer estimates the content marketing, video marketing, and social media industries to be worth $118 billion and Nielsen reports that 64 percent of marketers expect online video to dominate their strategies in the near future.

There is already sufficient evidence of this - Facebook recently made Facebook Live available to the public with new features and filters. Since 2015, Facebook has also been giving preferential treatment to video content in its newsfeed algorithms. Twitter (with Periscope) and Snapchat are also seeing good traction for their video content. So as demand for video increases, cloud platforms for video collaboration like 90 Seconds and London-based Aframe will see more growth.

Future plans

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Tim Norton at their Series A signing

90 Seconds claims that it clocked strong growth of over 300 percent in revenue in the past twelve months. It currently has a global team of 70 working on product, growth and customer success based in Singapore, London, Tokyo, Manila, Sydney and Auckland. They are opening new offices in San Francisco, New York, Hong Kong and Berlin in 2016.

As well as further developing technology and customer experience, this funding round will be used for expansion into new markets in Asia, US and Europe, and strengthening their presence in existing countries.

90 Seconds considers India to be a key growth market in 2016. It estimates that the current 100 creative freelancers in India will grow to over 500 in the next six months. The team will be spread out across Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

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Sequoia India, which was recently reported to have closed a $920 million fund, has in the past invested in many non-Indian startups too. Some of the notable ones include - Truecaller, Go-Jek, Tokopedia, Kfit, Carousell, 99.Co, Pinkoi, Zilingo. In almost all cases these investments have a direct or in-direct connection with the Indian startup ecosystem. For 90 Seconds, as mentioned above, India is a clear growth market. With an ever growing internet and smartphone population, many global startups and enterprises now consider India to big market with lot of room for growth. For India-based or India-focused investors such global startups have become good targets, especially at a time when the former are focusing on returns and growth. We need to see how global startups, which have raised funding from Indian investors, will plug into the local startup ecosystem.

Website- 90Seconds

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