The concept of “shoppable videos” has been around for at least a decade, with some big companies, like Showroom, Firework, Vimeo, YouTube and Klarna getting in on the action.
There have also been startups embracing this space that have received some attention from investors in the past, like Cinematique, which gave it a go in 2017, Clideo and, more recently, Kahani, which doesn’t exactly describe itself as doing “shoppable video,” but its concept of content videos for e-commerce brands can certainly be considered adjacent.
The latest attracting investor attention is e-commerce video platform Videowise, founded by Romania-born product designer Claudiu Cioba in 2021. The company now has a cash infusion of $3 million in a round that closed earlier this year.
Slack Fund led the round and was joined by Founder Collective, Underline Ventures, MuVentures, Ratio Ventures, Stan Chudnovsky, Javier Olivan, Ed Baker, Scott Belsky and Gokul Rajaram. The new investment gives Videowise a total of $4.1 million in venture-backed funds, Cioba said in an interview.
After working for over a decade in product design for companies, Cioba decided to embark on his own entrepreneurial journey, focusing on e-commerce. In talking to founders in the sector, he learned that the “North Star” for driving sales was conversion rate.
“If you can create a product that can affect the bottom line of these e-commerce operators, you could find product market fit quite easily,” Cioba said.
Though video creation and video consumption on sites like TikTok and Instagram took off during the global pandemic, many e-commerce brands had a “very basic video experience, very horizontal and traditional, nothing that was customizable,” he said.
Cioba said he saw an opportunity to build a better product that was specifically designed for direct-to-consumer brands and online retailers. In 2022, Videowise launched its video platform product that helps online stores manage and publish videos, at scale, on an unlimited number of product pages, collection pages or blogs, versus one video per page like other companies.
What differentiates Videowise from some of its competitors, like Vimeo or Firework, is its swipe-up video playlists and infrastructure that Cioba said offers automation and insights from advanced video analytics while also protecting page speed. Videowise is able to deliver loading times up to five times faster than traditional video players, he added.
The company’s first integration was with Shopify, where the concept has caught on: Videowise is currently working with more than 600 Shopify and Shopify Plus brands. It has generated over $1 million in added revenue from purchases happening straight in its video player and driven over $25 million in revenue at conversion rates of up to 328% since 2021 from video shoppers spending up to four minutes more per page, Cioba said.
One of Videowise’s customers is handmade soap company Dr. Squatch, which, after switching to Videowise, saw a 3.2% increase in revenue per session in the first 30 days, he said.
Meanwhile, Cioba intends to use the new funding to add more employees — the company has 30 today — and continue developing its technology stack with a focus on omnichannel video shopping experiences. He also wants to expand outside of Shopify and is now trialing with new Salesforce Commerce Cloud stores.
“We had no revenue last year and were struggling at the beginning of last year, but after we redesigned our marketing site and started working with mid-market and large brands, we saw a big revenue increase, around 500%, we started consulting with investors,” Cioba said. “There’s still a lot of innovation to be built and a ton of functionality being asked of us. New feature releases will be coming this year in areas where we don’t see competitors currently focused, and we aim to be a platform that can integrate with anyone.”