- VOCHI has secured an extra $2.4 million in a “late-seed” round, after a $1.5 million investment headed by Ukraine-based Genesis Investments last year.
- The company’s aim is to give a simple way for anyone to generate professional edits that would help them produce distinctive and fashionable material for social media.
- The initial venture money was utilized to invest in marketing and product development, allowing the firm to expand its repertoire to over 80 distinct effects and over 30 filters.
- VOCHI provides a full free experience that includes about 60% of the effects and filters, as well as other basic editing tools and content.
VOCHI, the Belarus-based business behind a smart computer vision-based video editing tool used by online producers, has secured an extra $2.4 million in a “late-seed” round, after a $1.5 million investment headed by Ukraine-based Genesis Investments last year.
The additional funding comes after a period of rapid development for the mobile application, which is currently used by over 500,000 individuals each month and has attained a $4 million-plus annual run rate in less than a year.
TA Ventures, Angelsdeck, A.Partners, Startup Wise Guys, Kolos VC, and angels from businesses such as Belarus-based Verv and Estonian unicorn Bolt participated in the most recent round. Along with the fundraising, VOCHI is promoting the company’s first employee, Anna Buglakova, from the head of marketing to co-founder and chief product officer.
According to Ilya Lesun, co-founder and CEO of VOCHI, the company’s aim is to give a simple way for anyone to generate professional edits that would help them produce distinctive and fashionable material for social media, allowing them to stand out and become more famous.
VOCHI accomplishes this by utilizing a unique computer vision-based video segmentation algorithm that adds multiple effects to particular moving objects in a video or pictures in static photographs.
“To achieve this outcome, two trained [convolutional neural networks] are used to conduct semi-supervised Video Object Segmentation and Instance Segmentation,” Lesun of VOCHI’s technology says. “Our team also created a unique rendering engine for video effects, allowing for immediate 4K deployment on mobile devices.” And it works flawlessly with no loss of quality,” he says. It works quickly, and the results are applied in a matter of seconds.
The initial venture money was utilized to invest in marketing and product development, allowing the firm to expand its repertoire to over 80 distinct effects and over 30 filters.
Today, the software has a lot of options for giving a film a certain style (like a dreamy vibe, artistic feel, or 8-bit look, for example). It can also highlight moving content with luminous lines, create blurring or motion, apply various filters, insert 3D objects into the video, add glitter or sparkles, and do a variety of other things.
Users may scroll through a vertical home feed on the app to watch the video edits others have applied to their own material for inspiration, in addition, to directly altering their content. When viewers see something they like, they may utilize the same effect on their own video by tapping a button. The completed results may then be shared on other sites such as Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.
Despite being located in Belarus, the majority of VOCHI’s users are young people from the United States. Others come from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and other regions of Europe, according to Lesun.
What does VOCHI have in store for its users?
Unlike some of its competitors, VOCHI provides a full free experience that includes about 60% of the effects and filters, as well as other basic editing tools and content. More sophisticated capabilities, such as effect settings, one-of-a-kind gifts, and numerous special effects, necessitate a membership. The membership, on the other hand, is not inexpensive; it costs $7.99 a week or $39.99 for 12 weeks.
This appears to target the subscription more towards professional content makers rather than casual users seeking to have fun with their films on occasion. (If you prefer, a one-time payment of $150 is also possible.)
To date, around 20,000 of VOCHI’s 500,000 monthly active users have committed to a premium membership, and that figure is rising at a pace of 20% month over month, according to the firm. The figures VOCHI has produced, however, are not as significant as the journey the business has taken to get there.
The corporation has expanded its operations at a time when a totalitarian administration has been cracking down on dissent, resulting in arrests and bloodshed throughout the country. Employees of the US-based company startup PandaDoc were detained in Minsk last year by Belarus police in reprisal for their protests against President Alexander Lukashenko.
The Lukashenko administration also shut down Imaguru, the country’s largest startup center, event venue, and co-working space in Minsk, and the origin of a number of businesses, including MSQRD, which was bought by Facebook in April. Meanwhile, VOCHI was recognized as App of the Day in the App Store in 126 countries across the world, and revenues were approaching $300,000 per month.
“Personal films are becoming increasingly essential in our lives, and for many, they have become a form of self-expression. “Through video, VOCHI helps people pursue the road of inspiration, education, and creativity,” said Andrei Avsievich, general partner at Bulba Ventures, where VOCHI was incubated. “I am delighted that consumers and investors adore VOCHI, as evidenced by the revenue and the oversubscribed round.”
According to Lesun, the new funding will put VOCHI on the route to a Series A as it works to recruit more creators, enhance user engagement, and add more features to the app.