Soona Raises $ 10.2 Million to Make Remote Photo and Video Capture Easier – TechCrunch

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Soona, a startup aiming to meet the growing content needs of the e-commerce ecosystem, announces that it has raised $ 10.2 million in Series A funding led by Union Square Ventures.

When I wrote about Soona in 2019, the model focused on staging footage that videos and photos can deliver in 24 hours or less. The startup still has studios in Austin, Denver and Minneapolis, but co-founder and CEO Liz Giorgi told me that Soona switched to a completely virtual / remote model during the pandemic – customers ship their products to Soona and then check out the filming remotely and provide instant feedback and only pay for the photos ($ 39 each) and video clips ($ 93 each) they actually want.

In some cases, the studio isn’t even necessary – Giorgi said 30% of Soona’s photographers and crew members work from home.

Soona has now worked with more than 4,000 customers including Lola Tampons, The Sill and Wild Earth. Sales increased by 400% last year. Giorgi said this approach still makes sense for many clients, even as larger personal shots become possible again.

“There’s nothing we sell online that doesn’t require a picture, but not every single picture requires a massive all-day shoot,” she said.

Credit: Soona

Giorgi also suggested that Soona’s approach unlocked a “new level of scalability,” adding, “Internally at Soona, we really believe in the remote shooting experience. Not only is it more efficient, but it’s also a lot more fun not having to fly a brand manager out of Miami and have them spend a full day in a warehouse in New York. Not only is it unaffordable, it’s a time-consuming and arduous process for everyone. “

The new funding follows an initial round of $ 1.2 million. Giorgi said Series A will allow Soona to create a subscription product with more collaboration tools and more data on what types of visual content are most effective.

“There’s the ability to own the e-commerce visual ecosystem from start to finish,” she said.

Giorgi also noted that Soona continues to apply its “openness clause” which requires investors to disclose whether they have ever faced complaints of sexual harassment or discrimination. In fact, the clause has been expanded to cover complaints of racism, skill or discrimination against LGBTQ people.

“In a way, it’s a gate that keeps bad actors from getting involved […] But it really does lead to a deeper connection with the investor and the founder, ”said Giorgi. “We can talk about our values ​​and how we see the world. We can talk about equality and justice at a time when we talk a lot about justice and the ceiling. “

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