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World’s first virtual photo and video shoot platform for e-commerce snaps $35M funding

Image credits: soona

As there is an exponential growth in e-commerce fueled by the pandemic, there is an increased demand for products and services that help merchants easily. A startup called soona from Denver helps brands market through virtual photo and video shoots.

$35M investment

Recently, the world’s first virtual content creation platform soona has raised $35 million in Series B funding. The investment round was led by Bain Capital Ventures alongside existing investors Union Square Ventures, Matchstick Ventures, Starting Line Ventures, 2048 Ventures, and Range Ventures.

soona will use the funds to fuel rapid growth. Also, it aims to grow its marketplace of model services, which is one of the fastest-growing segments of its business. Also, it wants to triple the size of the platform in 2022 and bring diverse talent and new ways to show off products for e-commerce merchants.

“There is not a single transaction that happens on the internet that does not involve a visual asset,” said Liz Giorgi, co-founder and CEO of soona. “Content is the difference between making a sale and not, which is why soona is so beloved by our clients. soona levels the playing field so every merchant can achieve their sales potential.”

“soona has defined a brand new category in e-commerce,” said Scott Friend, Partner at Bain Capital Ventures. “Essentially all brands now sell online, and to do so they rely on an integrated set of technologies to grow their businesses.”

“This financing will allow soona to continue to be the global innovator in online content creation,” said Hayley Anderson, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of soona. “By further investing in our proprietary technology, we are expanding the possibilities for how creativity and content can come together online.”

World’s first virtual content creation platform

soona was founded in 2019 by Liz Giorgi and Hayley Anderson after the successful acquisition of their first business, Mighteor. The dynamic female-led founding creative team operates with a shared vision to put technology to use to enhance the work of creatives and improve access to high-quality custom content.

A key capability, which every online seller needs is the production of high-quality visual images. Being the world’s first virtual content creation platform, soona solves the visual layer requirement of the e-commerce stack with an automated, cloud-based solution that produces super high-quality results for brands. This is done at a fraction of the time and cost as compared to traditional solutions.

Currently, the company has over 8,000 brand customers including Lola Tampons, The Sill, and Wild Earth and it grew over 300 percent in 2021 and 400 percent in 2020. The team at soona has added a stellar list of commerce-tech players including Attentive Mobile, ShipBob, Recharge, Bloomreach, and Flow.

With three hubs in Austin, Denver, and Minneapolis, soona helps companies sell products in a variety of product categories, including beauty and cosmetics, health and wellness, fashion and footwear, home goods, and pet care.

How does soona work?

soona is a self-serve content creation platform and home of the virtual shoot. It creates high-quality photo and video content from anywhere. It lets choose from curated and recommended shoots or choose the option to build their own shoot. E-commerce brands can choose everything from the background colour to props to models, stylists or pets from its pro services network.

With soona, brands can easily organise content within the platform, revisit previous shoots, and shop their past shoots for more content at any time. Its 5-star rated Shopify app lets brands can then swap content into their store and product listing pages in just one click. Already, soona has launched Amazon and Instagram-recommended shoots and is planning to launch something similar for TikTok as well.

Merchant clients ship their products and join their shoot online in real-time via a virtual photoshoot. Its a la carte menu makes content affordable charging $39 for photos and $93 for video clips. Also, it means brands only purchase the content they love and get it back within 24 hours.

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