Big soccer stars are backing Grabyo, a video clips sharing company.
Cesc Fabregas and Thierry Henry are two big name soccer stars backing Grabyo, a video clips sharing technology company, which said on Tuesday it raised $2 million as part of a plan to grow its distribution of exclusive video on social media.
Founded last year, London-based Grabyo lets broadcasters edit and share clips of sports and other events on Twitter and Facebook in real time, driving fan interest on social media, and generating revenue from adverts added to the footage.
Mobile video advertising is the fastest growing digital ad format in Britain, according to a recent report, and Grabyo already counts British broadcasters Sky, which shows English Premier League soccer, and ITV, which shows Champions League soccer, as customers.
Grabyo named Fabregas and Henry, as well as soccer player Robin van Persie and U.S. basketball star Tony Parker, as “investors and global ambassadors”, although Grabyo Chief Executive Gareth Capon declined to say which of them had actually invested or how much.
“A significant majority of that investment came from the sports stars,” Capon said in an interview on Tuesday.
The new funds would be used to expand across Europe and the United States, Capon said, adding that revenue was growing at about 15 percent a month.
“The speed is important, how fast it is. How simple and easy it is to use – it’s all cloud-based so you can access it through a laptop and wifi, rather than being in some big edit suite,” Capon said.
Mobile video advertising was worth 64 million pounds ($101 million) in Britain in the first six months of 2014, up 196 percent compared with the year earlier period, according to a PwC report published in October.
Grabyo, which is majority owned by its entrepreneur founder Will Neale, did not say what stake in the company the $2 million funding round equated to. (1 US dollar = 0.6362 British pound)