VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, May 20, 2021 – StoryTap, whose patented video storytelling platform enables well-known brands to engage and grow by harnessing the power of authentic social video stories at a global scale, has announced a seed funding round, led by Refinery Ventures and co-led by StandUp Ventures. Refinery Ventures Managing Partner Tim Schigel and StandUp Ventures Managing Director Michelle McBane have joined the StoryTap Board.
The US$2.3 million round will enable StoryTap to meet a growing demand for its video storytelling platform in North America and around the world at a time when about 20% of total global commerce activity has shifted online, and marketers are seeking ways to engage consumers. With e-tail now representing a $26.7 trillion market according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the company, which enables major consumer brands to source, produce. curate, and distribute on-brand customer-generated content like video reviews, video Q&A and video content experienced 450% growth in the number of brands using its platform in 2020.
“COVID-19 accelerated the rapid shift of businesses around the world from physical to online, so brands needed to quickly figure out how to humanize their e-commerce experience and pivot from an in-store experience to virtual. As the economy begins to reopen, e-tail buying shows no signs of slowing. Our customers are seeking authentic ways to build trust by educating, engaging and serving shoppers, and we are able to deliver a scalable, automatic authentic video storytelling solution for them at a time when society couldn’t get together in real life,” said Bernadette Butler, CEO of StoryTap. “We’ve grown by powering one brand after another, demonstrating how genuine consumer-generated videos can drive engagement and sales, and imbue companies with a true seal of approval. The growth and adoption of StoryTap in the past year has given us a glimpse of the massive opportunity that is in front of us, and the investment and network from Refinery and StandUp will enable us to bring our solution to even more brands on a global stage.”
The company, founded by Butler and CTO Sean Braacx, bootstrapped the development and growth of its patented, scalable and secure video storytelling platform over five years. StoryTap works with major consumer products, retail and education companies, and customers include Reckitt Benkiser’s Enfamil, Cepacol, Veet, K-Y and Durex brands, numerous departments at UCLA, as well as for TELUS, the major telecommunications company. StoryTap enables retailer Canadian Tire to generate video product reviews for Dyson, Instapot, Greco and Dewalt. In addition, enterprise companies now depend on StoryTap’s secure enterprise video marketing platform, launched this Spring, to help them generate authentic, on-brand customer and employee specific video stories. Brands also rely on StoryTap’s video content to drive traffic, search engine optimization and engagement.
“We are beyond excited to support the vision of StoryTap. The team identified a big problem for brands and marketers, which is to control the story about their brand and the voices of their customers, in an authentic and meaningful way. Video conveys so much more information for consumers” said Tim Schigel, Managing Partner at Cincinnati based Refinery Ventures and founder of ShareThis.
“Our decision to back StoryTap was simple: our investment strategy is focused on woman-led businesses, because data shows they deliver better returns,” said Michelle McBane, Managing Director at Toronto-based StandUp Ventures. “We were impressed with Bernadette’s vision, leadership style and proven track record as a marketer, as well as the opportunity before this team and this technology to grow exponentially.”
StoryTap Technologies Inc. is a woman-led company founded in 2016 with teams in Vancouver and Toronto. The company’s patented and secure video storytelling technology enables a global roster of brands to engage consumers and employees to grow by sourcing, producing, curating and distributing authentic, user-generated video storytelling content. StoryTap content also helps brands drive traffic, increase search engine optimization, build engagement and conversions. StoryTap is a Techstars and Lazaridis ScaleUp company. For more information about StoryTap, visit www.storytap.com or follow them on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.