Wibbitz, an AI-powered automated video startup, has raised $20 million in a Series C funding round, which the company says will be used to expand its teams and invest in technology to launch new products.
It added key hires to its development, product, design, sales, marketing, support and in-house editorial teams using the funding, as well as investing in artificial intelligence technologies and automation capabilities.
The platform uses AI to automatically transform text stories into short videos, with a range of media, text overlays, custom-branded graphics and soundtrack options. Its clients include the Associated Press, The Weather Channel, Bloomberg and Evolve Media.
Zohar Dayan, co-founder and CEO of Wibbitz, stated the goal is to "solve the biggest challenges posted by video -- resources and bandwidth." Dayan said the funding “not only underscores the rising value of video, but also the power of AI and automation technologies to reduce tedious, production-related processes.”
The funding round was led by Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, with participation from The Weather Channel television network, the Associated Press, TF1 Group, and existing investors NantMobile, lool Ventures and Horizons Ventures.
Dave Shull, CEO of The Weather Channel television network, noted, “In order to meet the needs of the next generation of local news and weather viewers, all publishers must think video-first, which can be an intimidating shift due to budgets, staffing, and time. He added Wibbitz “removes all those barriers.”
“Our publishing partners spend under six minutes, on average, producing original videos that drive four times the engagement of text-only content,” Dayan added.
Wibbitz also plans to open more offices in the coming year, to add to its spaces in New York, Tel Aviv and Paris. The company raised a $8 million Series B in 2015. Total funding is now $30.8 million.
Wibbitz isn’t the only platform with video-making technology to announce funding today. Connatix, which uses software to help publishers scale and automate the creation of videos and monetize the native video, raised $15 million in a Series A funding round, led by Volition Capital.
David Kashak, CEO of Connatix, stated the capital aided “rapid expansion and innovation."
Connatix also allows publishers to syndicate their video content on their own properties and outside their business. Its clients include Time Inc., Billboard, Mashable and Penske Media.