Unreel Raises $1 Million Seed Round
Digital Ignition Leads Seed Funding Round
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Jan. 14, 2016 — Unreel Entertainment, a San Mateo-based social video startup which uses data to mine the most memorable moments in video, has secured $1 million in a seed funding round led by Digital Ignition, a multimedia content and technology fund backed by Private Equity firm Steel Pier Capital;additional participants included Poise Ventures and angel investors Adam Yarnold, Gordon Whitener, and Jackson Huynh, among others.
Unreel catalogues the searchable, snackable video moments internet users are talking about for easy discovery and sharing across social media. Unreel uses an advanced artificial intelligence robot called Bumblebee, named after Transformers’ yellow-and-black robot that communicates through sound fragments, to crawl the web and index trending scenes in online video based on engagement data from Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, and Facebook. To date, Bumblebee has overlayed over 8 million moments across all videos in Unreel’s web player. The beta at unreel.co has about 100,000 monthly active viewers month-to-date, growing 100% month-over-month for the last quarter.
Unreel’s platform also provides a unique opportunity for content creators, publishers, and MCNs to create, distribute, and monetize their own video networks. Partners using Unreel’s technology to run and monetize channels include Malka Media, car video network GTChannel, SurrealVR, MMA League World Series of Fighting, and the upcoming comedy horror from Alexander Wraith Paranormal Activity Security Squad.
Unreel founder Dan Goikhman says he and co-founder Krish Arvapally founded Unreel and created Bumblebee in early 2015 because they wanted to address the web’s impending video discovery and search problem. “We started to see the signs everywhere that video was taking over the internet,” Goikhman says. “Hundreds of hours of footage are being uploaded to the web every minute and growing. Folks like Mark Zuckerberg were saying Facebook will be 80% video in a couple of years, and pundits were saying the internet will be 74% video by 2017. If in fact that was coming true, the way we navigate that web would need to be reinvented.”
Michael Clofine, Managing Partner at Digital Ignition, says, “As a media venture fund, we have a deep understanding of the challenges and nuances associated with content creation and distribution; we’re seeing a trend where content creators want to engage audiences on their own terms. Unreel’s unique data-driven platform approach enables content to be distributed, monetized, and scaled to their audience through the platform’s user friendly tools. Using the Unreel platform, content creators have the ability to build their digital video business more effectively and efficiently.”
Over the next few months, Unreel plans to release publishing tools to help content creators and owners understand and monetize their video libraries and audiences. For now, viewers can enjoy a completely new way to search video by visiting www.unreel.co.
Founded in 2015 by Dan Goikhman, Krish Arvapally, Ryan James, and Akshay Arvapally, Unreel is on a mission to map and index the world’s digital media, to go beyond the meta-data and surface life’s most amazing moments. Unreel’s Bumblebee AI crawls video platforms like YouTube and Facebook to catalogue the exact video scenes and moments internet users are talking about. Unreel’s platform also allows publishers, MCNs, bloggers, and other internet users to create and monetize their own video networks based on the trending moments their audiences want to see. Unreel was recently nominated for Axial’s Growth 100 list and was selected as one of the top ten startups in News & Entertainment by Launch Festival 2016. Unreel is headquartered in San Francisco and boasts a branch in New York City. For more information, please visit www.unreel.co or follow @unreel_co on Twitter. To partner with Unreel drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Digital Ignition
Digital Ignition, LLC is a media and entertainment fund backed by Steel Pier Capital with offices in New York and Los Angeles. Digital Ignition invests in technology platforms and through its subsidiary Digital Ignition Films is a producer and financier of independent films. Digital Ignition has already made investments in virtual reality, both on the content and technology side and in addition to its investment in Unreel Entertainment, it invested in the newly released feature film Dixieland starring Faith Hill, Riley Keough and Chris Zylka and is currently in development on numerous other projects.