Announcing the ICX Media Seed Financing Round
Today, we are very excited to announce that we have closed a $2.5 million seed financing round for ICX Media. As a part of that funding round, we are welcoming an impressive group of investors and advisors to the ICX Media team, and we couldn’t be happier to have such an incredible group joining us in our mission to transform the digital video market.
My former colleague and good friend, Phil Herget, former Co-Managing Partner at Columbia Capital and Chairman at advanced media services company Vubiquity, led the seed round and joined our board of directors. We are really excited to have someone with Phil’s market knowledge, experience and insights as an actively involved investor and board member. The syndicate is filled with luminary investors and executives from the media, data analytics, video and mobile markets. We are so grateful and humbled by the support from all of our investors and advisors and are excited to build a world-class company with them.
When Joey, Steve, Tom and I began developing the ideas that grew into ICX Media over a year ago, we began with a mission to use technology and data analytics to help independent digital video creators find success in today’s complicated and fragmented digital media ecosystem. Though we are still a young company, we are well on our way to accomplishing our mission. We have built a fast-growing team of talented and dedicated developers and engineers who are busy building out our platform.
Last month, we launched our private beta program for independent creators, and the feedback from that program has been extremely positive to date. The creators using our platform run the gambit from amateur creators who are distributing and marketing sports, music and educational videos through YouTube, Facebook and other channels and apps to professional creators who are identifying and growing audiences for their premium documentaries.
We believe, in short, that we are helping to democratize digital video; enabling creators of all types find and grow audiences for their content.
Why are we tackling the digital video market now? We think the time is finally right in the market for the type of solution we are building. And we don’t believe anyone else in the market is attacking this problem in the right way.
Digital video is already an enormous multi-billion dollar market that is growing quickly, but we are still in the early innings of the shift of video content from traditional distribution channels to web, mobile, social and connect devices. In recent years, we’ve seen more and more consumers shift their viewing from traditional linear cable channels and video on-demand services to apps, web channels and mobile devices.
All I have to do to see this phenomenon is look at my kids’ viewing habits as they consume hours of digital video on their phones and iPads instead of the perfectly good flat-screen TVs hanging in our family room and basement. And much of the time they are watching distinctly non-premium content on YouTube and many other apps and channels.
It’s not just kids and teens watching content this way — we have all shifted our viewing habits, consuming more and more premium content over-the-top through services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, whether through our phones, laptops or our connected TVs. And many of us are spending more time consuming longer-tail digital content created by independent creators. Sometimes those creators are YouTube stars, sometimes they are independent professional producers and sometimes they are just plain old amateurs who just have something interesting to say.
This shift in video viewing habits along with the proliferation of low cost production tools and open distribution channels and apps is leading to the democratization of video creation. Today, just about anyone, whether professional or amateur, with a camera and something to say can create and distribute compelling video that someone out there will enjoy. But the irony of this new, more democratic ecosystem for video creation and distribution is that the very proliferation of so much video through so many channels has created a sea of content that is often overlooked and unwatched.
For independent video creators, it can be terribly frustrating and humbling to produce and distribute compelling content to only see it disappear into the vast digital ocean of the web. For consumers trying to find interesting content that really appeals to their unique tastes and moods, it can be disheartening to use traditional discovery tools and services only to find video after video that falls flat for them. And for media companies and brands looking to procure independent digital content that will resonate with their audiences, the process of discovering, licensing and distributing the right digital videos can be terribly inefficient and ineffective.
At ICX Media, we looked at all of these trends and saw a big opportunities.
For independent video creators, we saw an opportunity:
- To build a highly scalable platform that connects independent content creators to many different production tools, distribution channels and apps, allowing them to upload their content once, manage their videos, and distribute their content not just through YouTube, but through many other distribution channels (such as Facebook, Vimeo and many others) through a simple easy to use platform.
- To use big data analytics and machine learning to pinpoint the videos that will resonate with specific audiences and the best way to reach those audiences.
- To create tools and partnerships to enable creators to use free and paid marketing channels to reach and grow their audiences. And we will help independent creators ultimately make more money from their content as they grow their audiences and find the most efficient path to reach them.
Our platform will also enable media companies and brands to:
- Identify content and creators that are resonating with specific target audiences more efficiently.
- Use our tools and data to simplify the process of procuring, licensing and distributing these videos more cost-effectively.
We are still in the early days of building out the platform for media companies and brands, but the feedback from prospective partners has been phenomenal, and we are encouraged about the opportunity we have in front of us. Stay tuned for announcements about our upcoming partnerships with media companies and brands in the coming weeks and months.
Building a company is incredibly hard work, as any entrepreneur will tell you. But with a highly talented team and a compelling mission like we have at ICX Media, there is little that is more professionally rewarding.
Steve, Joey, Tom and I are excited to be on this journey and couldn’t be happier to have such a great group of investors and advisors joining us as we build out ICX Media.
Please engage with us, and check back regularly as we report on our progress in reshaping the digital video market.
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Read recent article about our seed financing
If you are a talented developer, engineer or data scientist and are interested in tackling a big challenge, please contact us about joining our team.
And if you are an independent video creator, please sign up for our private beta program to help us on our mission to democratize digital video. Sign Up for the ICX Media Beta Program.
Originally published at icxmedia.com on March 3, 2016.