SAN FRANCISCO, March 5, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Visually announced today that it closed a financing round of $3.3 million to continue building the world's leading platform for on-demand creative services. The round was led by Crosslink and included investments from 500 Startups, Mitch Kapor Foundation and SoftTech VC. Visually has also made key strategic hires and board placements to strengthen its leadership team, including Matt Cooper, formerly of oDesk, as CEO and Board Member and Silicon Valley veteran and investor Mark Goines as Chairman of the Board.
Previously, the company has raised $2M in a seed funding round in 2011, $2.3M in convertible note funding in March 2013, and $8.1M in January 2014, raising the total funding to date to $15.4M. Visually plans to use the funding to expand its creative services offerings and capitalize on the growing demand for creative talent.
"The rise of content marketing has generated an unprecedented demand for compelling visual content to address an increasing number of business goals," said Matt Cooper, CEO of Visually. "As brands struggle to keep pace, Visually serves as a trusted partner, helping brands, publishers, and agencies scale in the short-term or as an ongoing extension of their in-house creative teams."
Over the past 18 months, Visually has become a recognized leader in branded content development, expanding its offerings to encompass a full suite of content solutions for marketers, content strategists, and PR professionals, including branded videos, interactive web experiences, whitepapers and short-form micro-content optimized for distribution on social media channels. More than 1,300 brands currently use Visually to accelerate and enhance their content strategies, including AOL, Red Bull, Twitter, NBC, and P&G.
Over the past few quarters, Visually has made key strategic executive hires, including Matt Cooper as CEO. Cooper previously served in various executive roles leading operations, enterprise and international for oDesk, while the company became the dominant freelance marketplace growing from $6M to $100M in annual revenue and merging with the second largest player, Elance. Cooper brings his expertise in operations and growing large-scale service-based platforms to Visually. Under Cooper's leadership, in Q4 2014 Visually enjoyed its highest-revenue quarter since the company's launch.
"Visually is changing the way brands source creative services and content," Cooper said. "Collaborative marketplaces are the future of the service industry, and Visually is the perfect complement to the traditional agency model, providing cost-effective, predictably high-quality content quickly and at scale."
With the new funding, Visually will continue to invest in the next generation of content marketing development and distribution tools. Already, in the past 12 months, the company has seen 80% growth in average spend per client.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to invest in a leading player within the fast-growing content marketing space," says Eric Chin of CrossLink. "Visually has already proven its leadership position with infographics and video, and will now accelerate the growth of its full suite of content offerings as well as improve overall operating efficiencies and platform features enhance the client better experience."
Visually's audience for branded content continues to grow as Visually has struck strategic distribution partnerships with Percolate, Newscred, Nativo and Outbrain, promoting the sharing of compelling branded content across the web. The Visually site itself receives millions of monthly visits to Visually each month, providing additional distribution for branded content to engaged audiences.
"Visually is changing the way brands create content -- and ensure it gets seen," said Tal Siach, Visually Co-founder and VP of Marketing. "As our product suite expands, we're becoming the trusted, reliable on-demand creative services team for all of our clients' content needs."
Over the past six quarters, Visually has made additional key strategic hires throughout the organizations, including Jessica Burdman as VP of Operations and David Wygant as Head of Product. Prior to joining Visually, Wygant transformed Dictionary.com into a top 75 US website with 60M monthly users, and Burdman, a longtime agency leader, joins Visually from iCrossing, where she served as SVP of Client Operations, North America.
"The traditional agency model doesn't provide the flexibility and scale many brands need. The future of creative production will occur through shared, scalable marketplaces like Visually, and I wanted to help create this next chapter of marketing," said Burdman.
Visually provides an on-demand creative services team to companies of all sizes, giving marketers access to the high-end talent they need to drive their business forward. By leveraging an online project management platform and carefully curated freelance workforce, Visually can provide premium creative services more efficiently and cost-effectively than traditional models. From infographics and videos to presentations and interactives, Visually creates high-quality content that builds brands and drives content marketing ROI.