Wibbitz, an Israeli text-to-video start-up, has raised $8 million in Series B funding to expand into the US market.
Wibbitz has a text-to-video platform that creates broadcast-ready, branded videos for publishers to push via their multiscreen online video strategies, into pre-roll ad space. It hinges on automated technology that turns existing text-based articles into video summaries; it analyses the text for tone and content to help create a summarised script, which is then automatically matched with visual content and a narrative voiceover to complete the video creation process.
"High quality video content is no longer a luxury for publishers – it's a necessity," said Wibbitz co-founder and CEO Zohar Dayan. "Most video content is expensive to produce and maintain, and our technology solves this growing issue. Newsrooms are shrinking, video production remains costly and there is huge demand for video ad placement."
The $8 million investment will be used to build out the company's US headquarters in New York City, by expanding its business development, sales, marketing and editorial teams. It has plans to hire about 20 new employees within the next few months. Wibbitz' research and development and engineering team will remain in Israel.
The financing round was led by NantMobile, founded by billionaire physician and entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong and a part of the NantWorks network. Existing investors Horizon Ventures, lool ventures, Initial Capital and Kima Ventures also participated.