Startup Q&A: Will Neale, Founder & CEO, GrabyoLast Updated: October 1, 2020
Grabyo founder and CEO Will Neale settles in to the AGENT Startup Hotseat to answer our questions about his startup business, which is making waves globally in the online sharing of video content.
With video now the most shareable content online, a London-based startup is helping to revolutionise the medium by enabling professional broadcasters and content rights holders to instantly create, distribute, and even monetise real-time video clips across any platform and device.
Grabyo is a slick cloud-based platform, and the company—founded by entrepreneur Will Neale in 2013—also provides strategic guidance and support to rights holders for capitalising on the commercial opportunities from sharing live TV and video across the web, social networks, and mobile.
Within three years, Will has steadily broadened the reach of the platform and Grabyo is now not only working with broadcasters and advertisers in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, but has also become an official ‘live streaming partner’ of Facebook.
Will generously cleared a window in his schedule to sit in the AGENT Startup Hotseat and face our questions on the back-story of his incredibly successful startup business.
1. Very simply, what does your company do?
Grabyo is a cloud-based video production and publishing platform. What that means is we take any video input, whether that be a broadcast stream, archive footage or a mobile video, input that into the Grabyo platform from where we can edit and trim content before distributing it to multiple social media platforms at once—all in real-time. For example, as the action unfolds at Wimbledon between Djokovic and Federer, as it did in 2015, we can take any moment of that match coverage such as the match point, trim it to a 10-second instant highlight and distribute that to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube with Wimbledon’s branded assets automatically attached. We are also an official live streaming partner of Facebook working with global clients to broadcast live events to the biggest social media platform in the world. We were the first platform to broadcast the first competitive football, cricket matches and fashion week live to Facebook.
2. What was the ‘Eureka!’ moment?
Initially, Grabyo was launched as a platform for consumers to clip moments from their favourite TV shows and distribute them to social media. We operated this with Sky and their programme Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model before identifying that there was a lot of rights issues associated with allowing consumers to have the power to share clips from television shows to online destinations. However, Sky recognised the benefit for them to be able to share such clips to engage with an audience that scales as the social media platforms grow. From that moment, Grabyo became a B2B/Saas enterprise platform working with rights holders from the world of sports, music and news.
3. What were you doing before starting?
In 2006, I founded Fonix, a mobile payments and messaging service for clients across media, telecoms, entertainment, enterprise and commerce. Driven by blue chip clients such as Channel 5, Powwownow, Daily Mail Group, AIMIA, Three and Jersey Telecom, the business is growing rapidly. Prior to launching Fonix, I worked at Accenture for six years.
4. How are you funded?
In 2014 Grabyo raised $2m in funding from a host of international sports stars, including Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Tony Parker, and has since raised further funding from strategic investors.
5. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs starting their own company?
Everyone is keen to help startups, particularly in the early days. There is a lot of energy, passion and resources available from employees, suppliers, customers, accelerators, government and more. Take advantage of it, as it won’t be there when a business is five years old!
6. What object would you never leave your house without?
My life runs efficiently because of my phone—doesn’t everyone’s?