Storyblocks, the subscription-based stock media service, today announced that it has been acquired by personal equity company Great Hill Partners. The company previously backed business like Wayfair (and then exited that specific financial investment in 2017) and Custom-made Ink. Great Hill likewise acquired Gizmodo Media Group in 2019. Storyblocks and Great Hill did not disclose the cost of the acquisition.
Storyblocks was established in 2009 and raised about $18.5 million considering that its launch. Throughout the years, it went through a couple of modifications. Its early focus was on video material and till 2017, it operated under the VideoBlocks name (prior to that, it was FootageFirm). The business’s focus was always on its buffet-style subscription service, though it also offered an “a la carte” marketplace for one-time purchases. Only a little fraction of users in fact bought from the marketplace, so in 2015, it doubled down on its membership library.”Our mission was truly all about this idea of affordability and gain access to,” Storyblocks CEO TJ Leonard informed me ahead of today’s statement. “That’s core to our DNA. It always will be. However as we aim to the future, we see ourselves supporting our clients throughout their whole workflow as they work to stay up to date with the content demand of their audience. You cover all that together and it felt like the moment was right to take the next step. Update, North Atlantic Capital, QED [Investors]– all of our early investors– have actually done an awesome job supporting business over the last eight years to help us get to this point. Great Hill brings a track record– and I believe an expertise– that is best for this next phase for us.”
Leonard, who just like the rest of the team is remaining on, noted that Storyblocks pays and wasn’t actively trying to raise any capital to sustain its organisation or trying to find an exit. Instead, he argued, this sale was merely a logical progression.
“We have actually long felt that although business is more than ten years old, there’s still a lot of chapters left in our story. We’re really excited to continue to chase them down,” he said. “And we’ve said all along that if we were going to discover a new partner, our first requirements was that they required to think in the same objective and vision that we had, they required to think the same market chance that we saw– and they required to feel like we had the ideal team and the right design to go take advantage of that chance. As we learnt more about Great Hill better, it was clear that we were really well lined up across all those essential points.”
He likewise noted that he tends to think of Great Hill as “a growth-oriented private equity investor, nearly a development equity investor masquerading with a private equity structure” considered that the firm tends to get business however then also typically spins them out once again. “All of our conversations have been oriented around how do we alter what’s working today and accelerate it. How do we take our long term strategic growth strategy that sets particular objectives over the next 5 years and accomplish them in 3,” he stated.
Storyblocks will continue to operate as usual and continue to buy its material libraries, Leonard told me. COVID-19 only made the need for stock video increase (Storyblocks now sees two times as numerous downloads weekly compared to the start of 2020), however the business was already seeing a growing need for its service before the pandemic, in big parts because the need for video content only continues to increase.
“This doesn’t seem like an ending. It seems like we have a lot of good work to do,” said Leonard. “It feels like in a lot of ways, the marketplace is simply type of reaching what we have actually thought since our founding, which is that if you can assist individuals produce more premium video material, do it at an inexpensive price, do it in a manner that conserves them time, then there’s a huge chance out there.”
Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.