When Vinayak Shrivastav launched VideoVerse in 2016, it was because he saw an opportunity to disrupt the content industry. Having previously worked closely with the media in his role as a venture capitalist, he knew first-hand that there was a major gap between consumers’ seemingly endless demand for video content and the often time-consuming and inefficient process of creating that content. Armed with that insight, he and his co-founders Alok Patil and Saket Dandotia, set out to build a next-generation suite of AI-powered video editing tools that would reshape how video content gets created and distributed.
In the years since, they have developed premium video technology products that use AI to automatically create clips from live video streams, identify what’s happening in those clips and tag them accordingly. These clips can then be shared across a variety of social media channels after optimizing and personalizing them for better branding and ROI.
“We’re changing the way that people engage with content,” says Vinayak. “Not everyone wants to watch an entire baseball game on TV, for example. Some people — particularly younger people — just want to watch the highlights. Or maybe they’re only interested in clips of their favorite players, and want to be able to do so on their phone and in near real time. VideoVerse makes all of that possible.”
While sports was the initial use case the company focused on, today it has customers from an array of industries around the world, including a variety of entertainment and news brands. The company is also expanding into other categories.
Enabling the Content Economy
With three separate products currently on offer — Magnifi, Styck, and illusto — VideoVerse uses AI to revolutionize how video content is edited and distributed, helping enterprise and individual content creators tell immersive stories across different media platforms.
That’s important given the incredible popularity of video. Underscoring the point, Cisco has predicted that 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic will be driven by video content this year. It’s perhaps because of people’s strong preference for video content that the global streaming video market is projected to reach a value of $224 billion by 2028. At a time when videos are becoming increasingly popular and the medium of choice in today’s content economy, consumers are looking for personalized video content that’s relevant to their particular interests. Rather than having to sift through random clips that may or may not appeal to them, they want content that is not only relevant to them but also easily accessible.
VideoVerse is at the forefront of all of these trends. “We help our customers deliver content that consumers care about,” says Vinayak. “That’s important because it keeps them engaged and in our customers’ social feeds longer. As the demand for personalized, local content continues to increase, we’re making it easier for everyone to edit high-quality video content and tap into the content economy.”
While there are numerous opportunities to generate revenue from the audiences being engaged with hyper-personalized content, Vinayak is quick to point out that VideoVerse isn’t a monetization play. “There are plenty of other apps out there that are focused on that,” he notes. “VideoVerse is about helping brands create better, more targeted content faster and more efficiently than they otherwise can.”
Finding a True Partner in Moneta
Over the years, VideoVerse had raised capital from several investors in India. And while the company’s balance sheet was strong, Vinayak nevertheless began proactively talking to investors in the United States to gauge their interest.
That’s how he met Sabya Das, a Partner at Moneta Ventures, in late 2020. During an initial pitch call, Vinayak was immediately struck by Sabya’s interest in understanding each aspect of the business. “He was very curious about our technology and the opportunities it presented,” recalls Vinayak.
Ten months later, VideoVerse and Moneta closed on a $5 million Series A funding round. “It took a long time to structure the deal given that we were Moneta’s first investment in India and were also changing the domicile of our business,” says Vinayak. “Usually when a deal takes that long, the investor gets nervous. Not Moneta. Sabya was incredibly patient, helpful at every step and committed to doing everything right. That gave us a lot of confidence that we’d chosen the right investor.”
In the two years since they first met, Vinayak has built an incredibly strong relationship with Sabya and the rest of the Moneta team. “It’s a real comfort knowing that Moneta has our back,” says Vinayak. “They’ve given us great, unbiased advice and have done a fantastic job of connecting us with potential customers and partners. Every time I come to Sacramento, the whole team is so welcoming and helpful. Working with them has been a wonderful and incredibly beneficial experience.
Vinayak also appreciates the difference in mindsets between Indian and American investors. “In India, investors are solely driven by the bottom line. They’ve got relatively short time horizons and are just interested in getting to an exit as quickly as possible. In the US, by contrast, investors recognize that businesses aren’t going to be an overnight success. Not only do they have longer time horizons, but they’re also genuinely interested in the technology and the founder’s vision for it. It’s been a refreshing experience."
A Bright Future Ahead
While sports, entertainment, and news are natural use cases for VideoVerse’s technology, they certainly aren’t the only ones. “We’re exploring opportunities to leverage VideoVerse in other areas like manufacturing and healthcare,” says Vinayak. “We’re also looking at opportunities in the metaverse. Though it’s still early days, we see many other applications for our technology.”
Ultimately, VideoVerse is trying to build an entire ecosystem around video content and has a number of additional complementary tools in its product roadmap. Over time, that will create opportunities to solve new problems, expand into new markets, and cross-sell to existing clients.
“We’re very excited for what the future holds and to have a great partner like Moneta working with us at every step along the way,” says Vinayak. “We see a lot of opportunity to grow our business as we continue to empower enterprises and individual content creators to work smarter and more efficiently.”
VideoVerse currently has offices in the United States, Europe, Israel, and India and is in the process of expanding into Singapore and the Middle East. Earlier this year, the company had a very successful Series B funding round and was also one of 20 Indian startups selected by Google for its sixth accelerator program.