Imagen eyes US expansion after securing £6.5m in funding round

The media asset management and content distribution technology developer Imagen has secured £6.5 million in a Series B funding round.

The company received funding from an investor pool led by Downing Ventures. The round also included capital from Guinness Asset Management and participation from existing investor, Cambridge Innovation Capital.

The investment represents a major milestone for the company, following significant growth in 2018 that saw it post an 88% year on year revenue increase driven by clients including Formula One, The Premier League, World Tennis Association, BP, Reuters, BBC, and IMG.

Will Pitt, head of sport at Imagen, told SVG Europe that an invigorated leadership team has pushed the company’s growth over the last 12 months: “Over the last year we have bolstered our executive team with new appointments in sales and marketing. This has enabled us to sharpen our focus on growing revenue in the sports and entertainment sector, while capitalising on increasing demand for professional video management by businesses.”

As to how Imagen plans to invest the money in Europe, Pitt noted: “As we continue to make inroads in the sporting sector, more and more of our revenue is coming from outside the UK, with recent client wins including CHL and IWF. Therefore, we intend to expand our sales our marketing team into continental Europe to consolidate our position and gain greater market penetration (by developing strategic sales and marketing plans to cultivate new business opportunities). We’ll be focusing on driving positive change for sports organisations that is dedicated to engaging and connecting their video content to grow their sport and build fan engagement.”

The investment follows what the company describes as a “growth trajectory” that has seen Imagen establish a “significant foothold” in the video management sector and become an “essential piece of technology for sports, media, and enterprise businesses looking to manage their expanding video and content libraries.”

Imagen’s business model means its works in a B2B2B model, whereby broadcasters are the end users of its customer’s use of Imagen technology. Pitt said: “We’re finding that there is a growing consensus among OTT providers that if sporting bodies, federations and rights holders had an easy-to-access-platform providing unprecedented access to their sport (in the format of choice), they would be able to provide more coverage of that sport. It’s largely about removing the barriers to entry and creating a self-serve interface.”

“This funding is clear recognition of the value our partners and prospects see in the platform. We have a world-class roster of clients across the sports, media, and enterprise sectors and have a healthy pipeline going into 2019,” said Charlie Horrell, CEO, Imagen.

“We look forward to accelerating our global operations and are thrilled to be working with new investors to continue shaping the future of video management.”

“We are delighted to be backing Imagen and the exceptional management team that has developed a market leading video management platform,” added Richard Lewis, investment director, Downing Ventures. “We are now focused on supporting Imagen’s exciting UK and international expansion plans.”

The funding will enable Imagen to expand its global operations and make significant inroads into the US and European markets.

Imagen will be establishing a customer-led sales and marketing presence in the US, as well as accelerating product development and the growth of its technology division.

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