Axle.ai

Early Stage

Radically simple video search software.

Analytics

Raised to Date: Raised: $0

Aggregate Commitments $

Platform

SeedInvest

Start Date

10/10/2018

Close Date

12/14/2018

Min. Goal

$25,000

Max. Goal

$1,070,000

Min. Investment

$1,000

Security Type

Debt

Funding Type

RegCF / RegD 506(c)

Rolling Commitments $

Status
Not Funded
Reporting Date

12/16/2018

Days Remaining
Not Funded
% of Min. Goal

0%

% of Max. Goal

0%

Likelihood of Max
Not Funded
Avg. Daily Raise

$0

Momentum
Not Funded
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Location

Boston, Massachusetts

Industry

Media, Entertainment & Publishing

Tech Sector

MediaTech

axle ai is providing “radically simple” video search software. The goal of their software is to make the video teams more productive. Their platform lets media creators tag, search, and manage their video content. So far, axle has sold their software to over 500 customers worldwide, including Bleacher Report, Madison Square Garden, and NBC Universal; they’ve been selected to be part of the Quake Capital Startup Accelerator's Fall 2018 Cohort; and they have received investment from Quake. In the future, axle expects to offer further integrations of AI capabilities and address issues of further scale and reach.
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Raise History

Offering Name Close Date Platform Valuation/Cap Total Raised Security Type Status Reg Type
Axle.ai 09/28/2021 Republic $9,000,000 $485,095 SAFE Funded RegCF
Axle.ai 06/24/2020 Republic $7,000,000 $107,000 SAFE Funded RegCF
Axle.ai 12/14/2018 SeedInvest - $0 Debt Not Funded RegCF / RegD 506(c)
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Analyst Report Analyst Report Methodology Article

Summary

Amount raised as of November 27th, 2018: $35,500
 
axle ai has been selected as a “Deal To Watch” by KingsCrowd. This distinction is reserved for deals selected into the top 10-20% of our deal diligence funnel. If you have questions regarding our deal diligence and selection methodology please reach out to hello@kingscrowd.com.

 

Problem

Consumers of digital media today demand higher quantities of high-quality content, and as a result media companies are creating massive amounts of original digital content.  

Did you know that video content can get up to 80% better conversions on ads than still images? AKA we consumers really like to ingest video content, rather than actually have to read.

It’s the reason that everyone from apparel and footwear companies like Nike to news companies like CNN are moving to create more video content than ever.

However, as these libraries grow, it becomes increasingly difficult for media producers to store, manage and navigate their most valuable assets, which can drive major sales conversion, click through, and user engagement growth.  

Finding ways to optimize video content management is integral to media content teams trying to win in today’s video-obsessed culture.

Solution

Companies that own and manage large amounts of media assets are looking for a simple solution to search their video libraries and tag their original content through a platform that seamlessly integrates into existing infrastructure.  

The core technology that axle ai offers, the axle browser-based solution, can efficiently organize media libraries by creating low-bandwidth proxies of content that can be accessed via web browser. The software with a two-user starts at $1,995 and 5-user starts at $3,995.

Both options include remote setup assistance and a year of software updat es and support. Teams ranging from 2 to 20 people can use axle to tag and search their vast content libraries quickly, making it easier to collaborate.

With tailwinds from growing demand from content creators and media managers, axle ai faces a favorable industry outlook.

The software asset management market size is expected to grow to $2.32B by 2022, at a CAGR of 14.8% from 2017 to 2022. This strong growth is driven by the increasing demand by consumers for more video content.

Industry reports indicate that Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have not heavily adopted these technologies due to a lack of awareness of software asset management solutions and budget constraints.

At the same time, this presents an attractive target market to win over with a lightweight, easy to implement / use solution like axle ai.  

While axle ai has worked with many large companies, like NBC Universal and Warner Bros, the company has served over 600 customers and is positioned to win the SME market over with its low cost, simple pricing model starting at a package for just two licenses.

axle ai’s latest edition of its core product, axle 2018, can support media collections of over one million assets by creating low-bandwidth proxies that can be accessed from any web browser. The company’s online user interface is designed for optimal simplicity, so users can easily search, comment, mark, approve and annotate content.  

The software’s artificial intelligence capabilities allow for a high degree of video tagging without requiring a lot of manual labor from the user. axle ai has also acquired and developed other software and hardware products to build out an ecosystem to serve customers looking for simple and effective media management.

Competitive Advantage

While there is a broad spectrum of different software solutions in the media management space, axle ai derives its edge over competitors through its market positioning as a lightweight easy to use cloud based solution for managing content amongst creative teams.

Most other solutions either have a hardware component, fit better as full enterprise content management systems or lack the collaborative nature of axle ai as you can see below.

 

It’s market positioning as a lightweight, easy to use solution is beneficial in winning over creative teams at large enterprises. Instead of having to sell management on a full enterprise management system, axle ai is perfect for supporting creative teams that want to store and manage media content quickly , and cost affordably.

 The one solution that is most comparable to axle ai, Studio Network Solutions is priced at 2 to 3X that of some of axle ai’s main products and does not provide as much purchasing flexibility with only one product to choose from.

Poking around the various competitors it is clear to see that the CEO Bogoch spent time at Avid and saw the opportunity to streamline and improve the media management space. axle ai presents itself as the easiest to use cloud-based media management solution.

Unsurprisingly axle ai has over 600 clients ranging from freelance workers to corporate creative teams and is showing a clear ability to win over customers in its portion of the media management market.

Business Model Validity  

To date the team has raised around $750K since 2015 and experienced $824K in revenue in 2017, with a cost of goods sold (COGS) of $131K, resulting in gross profit of around $693K and net losses of around $139K due to R&D spend, etc. all within reason for an early stage startup.  

With an ability to serve both small creative teams at large corporations and SMEs, axle ai is reducing dependence on long enterprise sales cycles and has won over a broad array of different clients, ranging from corporations, venues, higher education organizations, web video firms, government organizations / entities, post-production teams and even houses of worship.

Company & Founder Background  

Sam Bogoch, Patrice Gouttebel and Steven Ryan founded axle ai as axle Video, LLC in 2012. Prior to co-founding the company, Bogoch served as a director doing design and business development at Avid, the largest enterprise software company that provides content creators with the tools to make, manage, store, distribute and monetize content.

Gouttebel worked as an account manager doing business development at Boston-based startup SeeFile, which offered a lightweight digital photography and print media management system.

Ryan was the lead programmer on SeeFile, as well as a series of distributed processing and client-server software projects developed at Torque Systems.  

All three co-founders remain involved in the company today, with Bogoch leading as CEO. With years of media management experience from working at Avid, Bogoch has a background closely tied to his mission to serve a growing number of content creators and media managers across the world at axle ai.

Rating

axle ai is built by a strong founding team and has built a product that meets a market need. To date, the team has shown an ability to sell its product effectively and grow revenues, while also bolstering its ability to grow through partnerships with pseudo-competitors like Avid.

With such a strong product and team in a fast growing market we like the upside opportunity for axle ai. The potential for acquisition is clear with enterprise players like Avid likely interested in pursuing acquisition of companies in the fastest growing portions of the market.

With Avid’s $250M market cap we think a 5 to 10X exit from axle ai’s current $6.5M valuation cap is reasonable and thus, we think it is a Deal To Watch.

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