• First investment from the £40million Edge Creative Enterprise Fund
• Consumer demand for User Generated video Content (‘UGC’) is exploding globally
• Newsflare is driving the democratisation of video & shifting the structure of the global media scene
• Investment from Edge will capitalise on this high growth market, attracting technology and sales expertise to Newsflare to further build the platform and push global expansion
12 December 2016, London --Edge Investments (‘Edge’), the specialist investment house focused on the creative industries sector, in particular media and entertainment, has backed leading open video platform and fast growing British media technology company Newsflare (“the Company”).
Newsflare is a video marketplace platform for video creators, licensing UGC video to some of the world’s biggest media players. Newsflare matches video content to demand and distributes the content to clients and partners around the world. Newsflare provides video to a wide range of media players, all of whom seek compelling video content to engage their audiences; news websites, television production companies, Facebook and other social media channels, big content networks such as MSN and AOL, as well as distribution networks such as AP (Associated Press).
In just three years the ambitious Newsflare team has built an extensive network encompassing clients in some 40 countries including ABC, AOL, Associated Press, BBC, Bild.de, CBS, CNN, Daily Mail, FOX News, MailOnline, New York Post, NHK, SKY News and Yahoo.
Edge will invest £2.4m for a significant minority shareholding and a seat on the board. The Company was identified by Edge CEO David Glick and the deal was led by David Fisher, Investment Director, supported by Jo Smith, Investment Manager. This commitment marks the first investment from the Edge Creative Enterprise Fund, the £40 million fund that was launched in November 2015, with the backing of the British Business Bank, to boost Britain’s creative industries. Today’s announcement also follows the recent news that Edge will commit £10 million of investment to UK television production.
Edge Investment Director David Fisher commented:
“This is an exciting moment for both Edge and Newsflare. We believe the Newsflare founders Jon Cornwell and Bevan Thomas, and their dedicated team, have identified one of the key ways in which media consumption and engagement is changing and we are thrilled to back Newsflare at this crucial stage of the Company’s development.
“The growth potential for the sector is enormous and we are particularly keen to support Newsflare’s expansion into the lucrative US and Japan markets. Edge has a very strong track record of identifying, nurturing and developing early stage, leading creative enterprises. In Newsflare we have selected another talented management team and an energising digital media platform that has only begun to show its potential.”
Jon Cornwell, Co-Founder and CEO of Newsflare added:
“Having secured this investment from Edge, we are delighted to be working with one of the most respected names in the creative industries sector. Edge shares our vision for the huge potential of our business model in the burgeoning user-generated video market. This investment will allow us to execute our plans for growth and to achieve our ambition for Newsflare. We selected Edge over other prospective investors due to their track-record of effectively supporting management teams combined with their unrivalled network in the sector.”
“In the current era, we are living through the democratisation of video - nowadays anyone can capture startling footage that can be shared in an instant: Dash-cams, GoPro’s, smartphones - devices capable of recording high-resolution video are everywhere. The Newsflare platform quickly connects the right video with the right buyer in order to meet the exploding demand for eyewitness video from a growing array of media clients from all around the world."
Throughout the investment process Newsflare's management team were advised by White Horse Capital. Managing Partner, Ian Merricks said: “Newsflare has an exceptional team, growing traction along with the ambition and ability to become a market-leading business in the distribution of user generated video for commercial use. We are pleased to have connected this business to Edge, a leading UK digital media VC, and we are excited at the likely success ahead"
Launching out of beta in 2013, Newsflare has already amassed over 40,000 video clips – with over 2,500 new video clips being added every month – all of which can be licensed and downloaded in seconds. Videos on Newsflare’s website are fully tagged, date stamped, rights cleared and geo tagged for ease of use and confidence. Newsflare shares 50% sales commission direct with video uploaders and is completely free to use. Newsflare video contributors make thousands of pounds by placing their videos on the platform.
Both the creation and consumption of user-generated video are exploding. By November 2015 there were 2.6 billion smartphone subscriptions globally; by 2020, this will rise to 6.1 billion. Currently, 400 hours of video are being uploaded to YouTube every minute.
Edge Investments is one of the UK’s most dynamic and innovative specialist investors in the creative industries. Since its launch in 2006 it has raised approaching £200m. Its previous investments have included live events featuring Jennifer Lopez, Eric Clapton, Leonard Cohen, the Rolling Stones; children’s entertainment (The Clangers, Beast Quest, Poppy Cat), native in-video advertising (Mirriad) and games analytics (deltaDNA).
Core to Edge’s approach is its experienced team of creative industries and investment professionals. Its investment team includes Edge Investments’ CEO and renowned industry deal-maker David Glick, experienced VC technology and creative industries investor David Fisher, private equity veteran Steve Carle, Joanna Smith, formerly Corporate Development manager at Channel 4's Indie Growth Fund, Gordon Power, former CEO of ProVen, Charles Miller Smith, former Unilever director, CEO and chairman of ICI and Harvey Goldsmith, one of the UK's best known music industry impresarios.
Individually and collectively, the Edge team has been investing in venture capital since 1984 across 11 separate funds and has achieved a combined venture capital IRR in excess of 30%.
Newsflare is an online video marketplace that connects the world’s media with video shot by the public. The Company acts as a broker between members of the public who have shot engaging video and media companies that want to publish or broadcast it, catering to the growing demand for eyewitness video. Newsflare currently boasts a substantial community of video contributors and supplies video to news organisations, production companies, TV shows and Brands worldwide, including AOL, MTV, BBC, Sky News, MSN, CNN, NBC, Yahoo!, The Telegraph, MailOnline, The Sun, Discovery and National Geographic.
About White Horse Capital
White Horse Capital & Consultancy works with high growth Technology, Media/ Marketing, & Telecoms (TMT) businesses to build revenues, profitability, equity value and shareholder returns. Its main functions are Capital Raising in the £2-20m range, M&A / Exit Planning advisory, and outsourced Finance / FD function.