From left to right: Clay Colburn, CTO; Darren Apfel, Chief Product Officer; Dagny Hoag, VP of Marketing; Peter Christothoulou, CEO; Heather Christothoulou, Chief Creator; Thomas Dawson, Head of Content; Betsy Smith, Director of Creative Development; John Hilton, Head of Production; Gary Nafus, Chief Revenue Officer. (Photo via Inspo)
A husband-wife founding team has raised cash from investors like Rich Barton and Nick Hanauer to build what they hope will be the next transformative company in Seattle.
Former Marchex CEO Pete Christothoulou and his wife Heather Christothoulou are the co-founders of Inspo Network, a new video platform that matches original content creators with brands looking to reach targeted audiences.
The Seattle-based startup today announced a $5.5 million seed round led by PSL Ventures, the new venture capital arm of Pioneer Square Labs. Other investors include Barton, co-founder of Expedia, Zillow, and Glassdoor; Hanauer, co-founder of Second Avenue Partners; Dan Levitan, co-founder of Maveron; Clark Kokich, former Razorfish CEO; Rob Norman, former chief digital officer at GroupM; and several other individuals.
Inspo Network aims to solve problems for both lifestyle content creators and big brands with its own media purchasing marketplace. It uses a crowdsourced production model to film original TV-quality shows for nationally-recognized influencers in the home, fitness, food, and DIY categories.
The company helps brands integrate their products into the shows. Brands come to Inspo with intended audience targets — demographics, reach, etc. — and the startup uses the latest technology to facilitate matches with content creators, who split cost-per-view revenue with Inspo and push out the videos on their various platforms.
The whole process takes a matter of weeks and is more cost-effective than traditional video production, the company says. Inspo has tested its model with agencies and brands including Horizon Media, Williams Sonoma, and Vitamix.
“We’ve validated that we’re able to help …read more