Tongal, the leading social platform for innovative marketers to produce creative video content, today announced a $15 million Series B investment from global private equity firm, Insight Venture Partners. Tongal plans to use the funding to accelerate the build-out of its premiere global creative community and to support plans for rapid expansion.
Tongal was founded in 2008 by Rob Salvatore, James DeJulio and Mark Burrell, who believed that breakthrough ideas can come from anywhere, that global creative talent was being under-utilized, and that brand marketers could benefit from accessing the imagination and skills of this geographically diverse talent pool, specifically in the high-growth area of video content.
Salvatore, DeJulio and team turned the creative development process on its head by making it social, and opening the door to contributors from all walks of life. At the heart of the business are proprietary, multi-phased collaborative and competitive challenges managed by the company and its technology. Tongal's brand sponsors provide campaign objectives and a cash prize pool, then release the challenge to Tongal's community, the brand's social following and the world at large.
The Tongal platform manages a fun and iterative ideation, storyboard, and production process that yields quality video content at lower cost and faster speed than current methods of content development. Challenges begin with an "Idea" round. Once a sponsor selects the best Idea submissions, the Ideas themselves then move forward in the competition and more-technically skilled filmmakers bring the winning Ideas to life. Branded videos created via Tongal can be conceived of, produced, and ready to be deployed in less than eight weeks.
"Our brand customers are thrilled with the quality and in-market performance of videos being produced on Tongal, as well as the unexpected and fresh ideas that emerge," said James DeJulio, company President. "Tongal enables businesses to expand beyond the thinking within the four walls of their organizations, and provides the opportunity to unlock and access the world's creativity — this is very powerful."
Demand for Tongal's product is being driven by the growing need for online video content. In 2012, Tongal experienced strong growth as marketers continued to shift online budgets towards more video content – revenue grew by more than 400%, with many brand customers running multiple campaigns on Tongal's platform. Tongal's list of customers includes six of the world's Top 10 most valuable brands. They have used Tongal-produced video across social media, mobile, broadband, and on television.
"Tongal's customers told us how the company's robust community, coupled with Tongal's delivery platform, offers brand marketers a unique opportunity to satisfy their need for high-quality, innovative, and inspiring content," said Jeff Lieberman, managing director at Insight Venture Partners. "All this occurs at lower cost and with faster time to market – something truly differentiated among marketing solutions. We are excited to work with Rob, James, and the team as they scale Tongal."
Rob Salvatore, Tongal CEO, added, "2013 is going to be an exciting year for Tongal. Given Insight's past successes and shared vision, Jeff and team are the perfect partners to help us realize the potential of Tongal. With the capital infusion, we will accelerate our sales and marketing to serve more brands. We also will build more community tools to ensure we have a committed group of global professionals able to capitalize on their talent, develop professionally, and continue to earn a living doing what they love."
At the time of this announcement, Tongal Community members had earned more than $3 million dollars via the website.
Tongal is a social content development platform that helps global businesses connect with global creativity. Tongal's unique Content Evolution process opens the creative door to loyal customers, fans, even employees -- creating immediate, relevant content by tapping their (frequently, great) ideas, then pushing the very best of these forward to the talented folks who can translate the vision into living color. www.tongal.com