PlayPlay, the Paris-based startup behind a video creation tool that enables comms, marketing and social media teams to produce high-quality video content "in minutes," has raised €10 million in funding. Leading the Series A round is Balderton Capital, with participation from Point Nine and Kerala Ventures.
Founded in 2017 by ex-Eurosport social media director Thibaut Machet and former Eurosport colleagues Aurélien Dayres and Clément Moracin, PlayPlay has set out to democratise video creation. The idea is to enable people without filming or editing skills to "harness the power of video" to inform and entertain audiences for content marketing and other business goal purposes.
"Video is the king of content on digital platforms (the most impactful, the most engaging etc.), but it's very complex and expensive content to produce," Machet tells me. "Thus, communications and marketing people know they should post more video, but they simply can't. Today, they have only 'bad' options. Either they go through agencies that charge a lot and can create a lot of friction in the creation process. Or they can use online video makers, where the production value drastically drops, with very basic video quality, storytelling and branding."
To solve this, PlayPlay's design relies on three key pillars. First is the "extreme simplicity" of the product, which, Machete says, requires zero editing skills and no training. Second is the production quality of videos via PlayPlay's motion design technology, which claims to reach agency standards in terms of animations, transitions, effects and so on. Third is "storytelling," delivered through a library of 200 video templates designed for brands and organisations.
"There is a real 'wahoo effect' when people create their first video. Usually, we hear them say, 'Did I just create that by myself?!' says Machet.
Typical PlayPlay customers are described as communication, marketing and social media teams in mid-to-large companies, brands and organizations.
"Big brands such as Axa, Heineken, and Orange use PlayPlay every day to feed their communities; their fans on Facebook and Instagram, stakeholders on Linkedin or employees on their website and intranets," says the PlayPlay co-founder. "We also have clients using PlayPlay for their outdoor screen advertising (cities, shopping centres etc)."
Although there are a myriad of video making tools at the lower end of the market, Machet says PlayPlay most directly competes with agencies that create high-quality custom videos but are very expensive. In addition, there are a few more high-end tools, such as Wibbitz and Wochit.
"At PlayPlay, we offer the best of both worlds: a very simple product (no equivalent on the market) and the same video quality an agency offers," he says.
Meanwhile, the SaaS business model is simple enough. Two pricing tiers are available. "Business" costs €200 per month/user. "Enterprise" starts at €500 per month/user. "Basically, for the price of one or two videos produced by an agency, our users can create unlimited videos for a year," adds Machet.