Capsule, a video Q&A platform aimed toward manufacturers, emerged final yr in direct response to the challenges corporations had been dealing with when it comes to reaching shoppers through the pandemic. Now, the enterprise has closed on $2 million in pre-seed funding. The spherical was led by Array Ventures and included participation from Bloomberg Beta and different angels.
The startup was based by the identical group that initially created the animated GIF seize device and social community Phhhoto, which finally misplaced out to Instagram’s clone, Boomerang. Phhhoto shut down in 2017 and the group pivoted to work on an experiential advertising and marketing enterprise, Hypno. The brand new firm had been working with manufacturers that hosted dwell occasions and experiences as a technique to join with prospects. Hypno would supply them issues like photograph cubicles and different digicam platforms that allowed for interactivity.
The COVID-19 pandemic basically killed Hypno’s enterprise as dwell occasions dried up. Nevertheless, the manufacturers Hypno had labored with nonetheless had the identical wants — they simply needed to go about reaching their prospects otherwise.
That’s how Capsule got here to exist. Launched final yr, the startup affords a full platform for internet hosting Q&A classes, the place the model begins with a template that they then customise to match their marketing campaign by altering the emblem, colours, buttons, background and URLs — kind of a like a Squarespace for the video Q&A format.
The model will then write their questions and prompts for shoppers to reply, within the type of brief video responses. This Q&A URL is distributed nonetheless the corporate chooses — like on social media, for instance. A brand new characteristic additionally permits a “capsule” to be embedded on the web site.
The shoppers’ responses to the Q&A are curated for the ultimate video product. What makes the know-how much more fascinating is how Capsule assembles this footage.
At this time, Capsule has grown its library to about 20 base templates. However every of those will be edited by altering colours, types and even the music — together with both from direct uploads or from 1000’s of royalty-free tracks Capsule gives.
Based on Capsule co-founder Champ Bennett, the platform’s flexibility has led to a variety of use circumstances. Although the corporate’s first prospects had come from the dwell occasions house that Hypno had catered to, new prospects quickly started to undertake the product.
“What we instantly began to listen to from each our present prospects after which, immediately, a bunch of latest prospects that had been coming our manner, is that the platform was helpful in so many various contexts,” he explains. “For instance, UGC [user-generated content] campaigns or producing social content material to advertise a enterprise, or consciousness, or product evaluations and testimonials, and even creators who simply needed a sooner technique to make content material that appeared and felt just a little bit extra skilled,” Bennett says.
At launch, Capsule was utilized by corporations like Netflix and organizations like OkayAfrica. It’s since landed contracts with lots of of shoppers, together with groups inside bigger organizations like Google, Samsung, Salesforce, Deloitte and The Wall Road Journal, together with different small-to-medium companies, like Paloma Health. The USO has additionally used Capsule.
These manufacturers and others are particularly hungry for instruments that assist them create authentic, short-form video content material, which is changing into a key manner companies are advertising and marketing their services and products. Capsule notes that research have indicated video click-through charges are two-three instances larger than static pictures and 95% of companies are reporting a rise of their video spend year-over-year.
The pandemic had accelerated the present demand for video content material, however manufacturers confronted challenges when it comes to video being tough to scale.
“More and more, manufacturers have began to form of hack the way in which that they will create video,” says Bennett. “And one of many methods they’re doing that’s by tapping into completely different creators inside their organizations — whether or not it’s staff or founders or companions or influencers or followers of the model or no matter it’s — then activating them to create content material on their behalf,” he continues. “We name this community-generated content material, which is kind of like an iteration on user-generated content material. It’s this concept that content material can come from wherever.”
Capsule says it needed to work with Array Ventures GP Shruti Gandhi, who has an engineering background, as a result of she very deeply understood the core know-how. She launched the group to Bloomberg Beta in New York, which additionally instantly understood what Capsule was constructing, Bennett says.
With the extra funds, Capsule might be hiring a product designer and might be creating new collaboration options, like the flexibility to upvote content material.
Longer-term, the corporate believes its platform will allow extra folks to get entangled with video creation.
“It seems that there are such a lot of completely different folks inside companies who’re able to creating video content material. They simply don’t have the technical know-how to do it. They’re not video editors,” Bennett says. “So what we’re actually doing is untapping this artistic potential that exists inside of companies all over the place, small and huge.”