Veed.me is an Internet platform that matches video creators with businesses looking to spruce up their image.
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/ By Roy Goldenberg
When Yoav Hornung and Oren Hod graduated from Tel Aviv University’s film school, they thought more about the lines at the unemployment office than the possibility that Donald Trump might look in their direction. But, together with the technological skill and great love of the cinema of Nuri Zuaretz, the three founded Veed.me, a kind of online marketplace, which connects video creators and businesses seeking a pointed, lively, and even viral, video clip.
“Like many film students, we thought to set up a small production company, but saw that this was terribly difficult, and that there was not enough access to customers, ” says Veed.me CEO Hornung. “Looking at the Internet world, we said that we might try to do this digitally and bigger, and then we thought of establishing a marketplace. We knew that there were enough hungry creators, but we said that we’d first find out whether there was demand on the other side of the business, and we were astonished to see how much there was.”
With $50, 000 in starting capital from Jeff Pulver and his Micro Angel Fund, the three decided that they would also make money from the platform, and that part of the work offered via the website would be carried out by Hornung and Hod. “This is also our way to promote ourselves, ” says Hornung.
Veed.me currently runs only an alpha version, without a built-in payments system, but its list of clients who have already used the service include Waze Ltd., Google Israel’s Campus Tel Aviv, and other Israeli start-ups, such as Check and Invi.
Start-ups are definitely important customers, because many of them need clips on their homepages to explain exactly what they do, but for Veed.me, the potential is actually to befound in a different field. “Start-ups are the early adopters, and there’s a great community in Israel, but we’re targeting the American market, and industries such as tourism, fashion, and e-commerce, where the visual element is very important, ” explains Hornung. He cites as an example homeowners on airbnb, who can produce video clips of their rental property, and hotels that want to create something a little more interesting than the usual dry promotional video.
The wish to reach the US market mean a need for a physical presence there. Although the three entrepreneurs spent several months at the Israeli start-up accelerator Upwest Labs, based in Silicon Valley, they know that they need to go back to find potential customers.
With little cash in hand, Veed.me approached FundAnything, the crowd-funding site of Donald Trump. “We met his partner, and he told us about the site that they had set up in May. We decided to run with it, and we raised $30, 000, ” says Hornung.
A third of the amount was raised in ten days, and another six weeks are left until the end of the funding campaign. Investors include Trump and Waze CEO Noam Bardin and his wife, each of whom invested a similar amount from their own pockets.
Veed.me’s advantages do not just lie in its ability to match people who know how to produce, film, or edit a high-quality video clip with businesses that need them, but in the way the payments work. “Payment is by a project’s progress. Not only is this cheaper, but you don’t have to pay the whole amount in advance, because transferring $8, 000 or more to someone in another country is stressful, ” explains Hornung. “At Veed.me, part of the money comes at the stage after the script is written, and then there is the next stage and the stage after that. We also give the customer exit points, if he is dissatisfied. This increases the creator’s commitment to the project because his is compensated as he works.”
Published by www.globes-online.com