Frontier Ventures is proud to announce its most recent investment – Storyhunter (www.storyhunter.com), which today announced the closing of a US$1.3 million investment round (US$4.2 million total raised). Draper Associates led the round which included Frontier Ventures, NFX Guild, Altair.vc and 500 Startups.
Storyhunter is a talent marketplace of more than 20,000 freelance video producers and journalists across 180 countries. Since transitioning from a production studio to an open platform for media production, Storyhunter proudly counts four of the five largest news organizations and two of the three largest magazine publishers as clients. Digital media companies like AJ+ (the digital arm of Al Jazeera) and Great Big Story (the digital storytelling brand of CNN), rely nearly exclusively on Storyhunter to manage their talent and source original video stories across the world. Other clients include NBC, CNN International, Time, National Geographic, Discovery Digital, and The Weather Channel, as well as brands including Airbnb, Expedia, Zillow, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Storyhunter will use the additional capital to expand its freelance management system (FMS) launched earlier this year. “From listening to clients, we learned there was an opportunity to not just connect them with experienced freelancers, but to help them manage the entire freelancer relationship, from messaging freelancers in the field to making payments to filing taxes,” said Jaron Gilinsky, CEO and Co-Founder of Storyhunter. Key features of the FMS include:
- Map search tool: Video producers can find, message, and hire freelancers anywhere in minutes
- Expanded video services: Vetted freelancers for drone filmmaking, 360 video production, and mobile livestreaming are now available in all 180 countries
- Custom Networks: Video producers can organize both new and existing freelancers into their own custom networks e.g. “360 shooters,” “African freelancers,” “Best editors,” and send group messages, or reach out to freelancers individually
- Easy Payment: Video producers can pay all of their freelancers at once with their preferred method of payment in any country in the world
- Tax Filing: Storyhunter tallies total payouts for each freelancer, automatically submits W-9 or W-8 BEN forms and files 1099s.
“Before Storyhunter, we either had to deploy a full team, which was very costly, or try to find a freelancer already on the ground, which was difficult and required a tedious on-boarding process,” said Geoffrey Dietrich, Executive Producer of AJ+. “With Storyhunter, it’s no longer about who we have on the ground, but rather what do we want to cover? The distributed network and the workflow tools have been a force multiplier for us.”
“We are excited to back Storyhunter’s team and support its vision of building the world’s premium on demand video production market network. We believe there is a lot of value to be created in connecting media companies and brands to the freelance video talent and creating the marketplace and software tools to make their interactions as frictionless as possible,” said Dmitry Alimov, Founder of Frontier Ventures.
Storyhunter® (www.storyhunter.com) is the virtual foreign bureau for the media industry, powering original video and media production in more than 180 countries worldwide. Storyhunter’s new Freelancer Management System (FMS) handles messaging, project management, online contracts, and global payments for the world’s leading media companies and brands. With more than 20,000 freelancers and production companies and thousands of new video projects being commissioned on the platform in 2016, Storyhunter is one of the fastest growing technology companies serving the media industry.
About Frontier Ventures
Frontier Ventures (www.frontier.ventures) is a venture fund focused on tech investments globally, with a main focus on companies with strong network effects in the United States and Asia. Frontier Ventures is an investor in several leading businesses, including the Australian consulting services marketplace Expert360.com, Asia’s leading restaurant reservation platform Chope.com, Russia’s leading online video company ivi.ru, and profi.ru – the largest online marketplace business in Russia and CIS. Founded by serial entrepreneurs, Frontier Ventures aims to partner with strong entrepreneurs to build market-leading businesses.
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