We partner with 100+ trusted publishers and broadcasters globally, we host all their video content in the cloud (+150,000 videos). Our tech will then watch and extract the meaning of the video so that journalists all over the world can use it in their articles.
Interview with Oovvuu
What does Oovvuu do?
Oovvuu’s mission is to put a relevant video in every article, tell trusted news to a billion people and use that scale to repatriate $20 billion in ad revenue from Facebook and Google back to the media industry. Every day, more than 200 publishers, broadcasters and content providers and hundreds of journalists use our unique AI technology to read articles, watch videos and match them together.
How did you/the founders come up with the idea?
We ran video for international media companies and saw a gap. We believe video is the future of news telling in an increasingly mobile-centric world, and that Facebook and Google have broken the world by trading trust for scale. Our technology enables trusted video from trusted sources to be embedded in trusted news sites in a click. While each publisher is an ant compared to the two elephants of the duopoly, the publishing industry combined is the biggest elephant of all. Oovvuu’s mission is to bring the publishing and broadcasting industries together in a common mission to report in a trustworthy way and take back the earnings that have been dishonestly stolen from them.
Could you tell us a bit about you and your team?
Our founders came from print, digital, TV and tech. We were a journalist, an engineer and a CFO. We ran the business for four years without salaries before receiving our first funding round. We now have 14 people in Sydney, London, New York, Cape Town and Mumbai. Half of our people are now engineers, as AI has become the method by which we can scale at the pace we need to.
I (Ricky Sutton) was a journalist who accidentally became an entrepreneur. I started out as a local newspaper reporter, later a war correspondent and then reporter for Britain’s national newspapers. After stints as head of digital for News UK, and managing editor of digital at News Australia, I set out with my co-founders to create Oovvuu.
What are the other alternatives to Oovvuu?
There were none for years but as we have become more successful (we keep being identified in articles in the US as a future unicorn) many are now popping up. What marks us out as different as we are already into the third generation of our AI, while copycats are making the mistakes we made back in 2015. The other difference is that we created the company to solve a problem we ourselves had. Our copycats come from tech. Trying to teach a techie to understand the idiosyncrasies of the media is like allowing someone learn to fly a passenger jet from Google. The plane will crash, and everyone will die.
Who is your target customer?
We have more than 118 publishers using us every day, but our perfect customer is a media company with a long history of reporting the news accurately, that is beloved of its audience. We make the video bit easy for them, so they can focus on the important job of reporting the news and keeping us informed and safe.
How does your product make a difference to the industry?
Estimates have it that Google and Facebook have used tech and lies to systematically syphon $20 billion from the media over the past five years. But they have become big and fat, and ripe for disruption. Our tech is better than theirs, because it doesn’t try to do everything. It does one thing really well. Both have tried to copy us and failed. Google tried, failed and then tried to buy us, and they failed at that too. The difference we make is that we know trust must be earned, but technology can be learned. We have centuries of trust with our publishers, and we have learned the tech fast. The difference we make is that we are now scaling our solution and ripping money out of the duopoly and giving it back to publishers. In South Africa, we already have commitments from advertisers to shift 15% of their spend from YouTube to Oovvuu publishers. It’s a start and we are growing 10x year on year.
What are the milestones for Oovvuu?
There have been many milestones. Finding a customer, earning money, raising investment, going international, building an AI, refusing to be bought by Google and more. We cannot achieve our goal of putting a relevant video in every article in the world if we are not present in every country in the world.
We already have dominant positions in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India and Japan is next on our list.
Why did you start targeting Japan?
In June 2019, we began planning our 2021 strategy. We knew Japan was the world’s third largest economy and had a very strong media market, led by Yomiuri and Nikkei. We also had a pre-existing relationship in other international markets with Dentsu Aegis. Finally, we had identified that video was in its infancy in Japan, so there was a massive and trusted market to grow into.