Why Cesc Fabergas, Robin Van Persie And Thierry Henry Helped Raise $2m For A Media Technology Startup

Grabyo has helped broadcast the FIFA World Cup, Wimbledon, ATP World Tour, The Ryder Cup, UEFA Champions League and the BRIT Awards around the globe

Grabyo, a London-based media tech startup, has raised $2m in funding with the help of some of the world’s greatest sports stars on the back of accelerating customer demand, ongoing momentum in social video and the rapid growth of mobile video advertising.

Premier League Football stars Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie, New York Red Bulls star Thierry Henry and current NBA champion Tony Parker are just some of the investors and global ambassadors involved.

Monetising social media

Grabyo’s real-time video platform allows broadcasters and content rights holders to drive and monetise social media engagement around TV. Fully scalable and cloud-based, it enables them to instantly create and distribute real-time video clips, with integrated sponsorship and advertising assets, across the web, social mobile apps and third party video platforms. Grabyo is said to have strong reach across the social and video ecosystem, including partnerships with Facebook and Twitter, giving Grabyo’s customers a digital audience of billions.

Robin van PersieSince launching in 2013, the company has worked with more than 30 major broadcasters and rights holders – bringing consumers near-live highlights from some of the world’s biggest events in sport and music. These include FIFA World Cup, La Liga, Wimbledon, ATP World Tour, The Ryder Cup, UFC, UEFA Champions League and the BRIT Awards. Grabyo is also now building partnerships with a number of football clubs in addition to partnering with innovative global brands.

The involvement of star talent will further support Grabyo’s growth across Europe and North America as well as enable Grabyo’s partners to capitalise on the changing dynamics within the global media industry.

Grabyo CEO Gareth Capon said: “From global sports stars and musicians, to Hollywood actors and supermodels, the number of famous faces with millions of highly engaged fans on social media is staggering. As more people are able to enjoy video across social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, the involvement of star talent will open up new distribution opportunities for broadcasters, rights holders and brands.

Footballer Thierry Henry said: “Being away from London makes it harder to keep up with what’s happening in European football. Grabyo makes it easy for fans to follow the action by making the best moments available in an instant. I am looking forward to helping the company grow.”

Grabyo’s customers include some of the largest commercial broadcasters in Europe, including BSkyB, ITV and Channel 5 in the UK. Grabyo has seen a significant increase in reach, engagement and video views since moving premium partners to native formats – auto expanded video with one click playout on Twitter and autoplay video in the newsfeed on Facebook.

Capon added: “Having leading stars in global sport backing us is testament to the momentum we’re now enjoying as demand for real-time video accelerates. Premium rights holders now recognise the value of making content available wherever their customers spend their time, which is increasingly on social platforms via a mobile device. Meanwhile, brands increasingly want to align with premium video content and engage consumers at scale. As a result, video, mobile and social are the most important growth sectors of the global advertising industry – and Grabyo sits across all three.”

Chelsea FC’s Cesc Fabregas commented: “Videos and photos are my most popular posts on Twitter and Facebook. I am looking forward to working with Grabyo to bring video highlights to my fans in real time.

“I’m pleased to be backing Grabyo to bring instant sports highlights to fans on social media,” comments Robin van Persie. “I’ve witnessed first hand the immediate response from fans when videos are shared on Facebook and Twitter.”

Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, said: “The fans are on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter – this is where the engagement is and brands want to be a part of that conversation.

How much do you know about tech startups? Take our quiz!