Union Square Ventures Leads soona's $10M Series A
soona is revolutionizing how brands create casual photo and video content.
Liz Giorgi and Hayley Anderson are special.
Hayley is quiet, creative, brilliant. Liz is passionate, emotional, thoughtful, visionary. Together, with incredible sense of purpose and mission clarity.
They are building one of the best companies I’ve been a part of as an investor.
My investment thesis locates their company at the intersection of two megatrends: video eating the world and the rise of long tail commerce. Whether we like it or not, video and pictures are replacing text in all aspects of our lives. This trend is even more pronounced in commerce than other spaces - brands are hungry for fresh marketing content.
This is exactly where soona comes in.
soona is revolutionizing how brands create casual photo and video content. Content creation, a previously intensive and expensive process, is made quick, high-quality and affordable.
Here is how soona works:
- Clients simply book a shoot within soona’s self-service software and select from its network of models, stylists and props. They can browse curated designs or take a style quiz to uncover their brand’s visual personality.
- Customers ship their products beforehand and then join their shoot online in real time. Brands are obsessed with their virtual shoots because it allows them to give feedback to the crew like they would on an in-person set and see immediate changes and improvements on the dashboard.
- The a-la-carte model of selling photos for $39 and video clips for $93 also means brands only purchase the content they love and get it back within 24 hours.
- Brands can easily organize content within the platform, revisit previous shoots, download any of the content they’ve previously purchased, and browse their past shoots for more content at any time.
- With soona’s 5-star rated Shopify app, brands can then swap content into their store and product listing pages with just one click.
soona helps companies sell products online and in-store in four core industries: beauty and cosmetics, fashion and footwear, home goods and petcare. So far, they have over 4,000 customers, including Lola Tampons, The Sill, and Wild Earth, and hubs in Austin, Denver and Minneapolis.
Liz and Hayley took the company from 0 to hypergrowth in less than 24 months.
But this is just the first inning for soona.
I am obsessed with the capability of API-based businesses to simplify complex processes. Take Twilio or Plaid, for example, which have made telephoning and banking simple through elegant APIs.
With soona, the previously elaborate process of content creation becomes a matter of simply booking, picking, choosing, and delivering. As time goes on, soona will continue to become even more software and API-focused.
soona nails the modern customer experience and brands love it. soona’s collaborative virtual shoots, an idea developed pre-pandemic, exemplifies the company’s forward-thinking attunement to what customers want.
Not only are Liz and Hayley building a special standalone business, but are more broadly they are helping to power the creative economy. soona can be viewed as a marketplace that connects brands with talented creatives all over the US.
soona’s internal algorithms match customers with the best photographers and videographers, who increasingly work from home. Their content is then uploaded to soona’s cloud, which uses intelligent software to stitch together the final product and seamlessly deliver it to customers.
I am so proud to share that soona has just raised a $10.2M Series A round led by Rebecca Kaden at Union Square Ventures (USV). USV is a world-class firm which has helped create iconic companies like Etsy, Twitter, MongoDB, Coinbase among others. I’ve been lucky enough to be backed by the firm as a CEO as well as co-invest in several startups.
Rebecca is off-the-charts brilliant, and one of the kindest, most thoughtful investors I’ve ever met. I am so excited to have her involved with this amazing founding team.
I feel so lucky to be an early investor and can’t wait for the next chapter of soona. I know it is going to be an incredible journey.
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