Capsule, a video Q&A platform aimed at brands, emerged last year in direct response to the challenges companies were facing in terms of reaching consumers during the pandemic. Now, the business has closed on $2 million in pre-seed funding. The round was led by Array Ventures and included participation from Bloomberg Beta and other angels.
The startup was founded by the same team that originally created the animated GIF capture tool and social network Phhhoto, which eventually lost out to Instagram’s clone, Boomerang. Phhhoto shut down in 2017 and the team pivoted to work on an experiential marketing business, Hypno. The new company had been working with brands that hosted live events and experiences as a way to connect with customers. Hypno would offer them things like photo booths and other camera platforms that allowed for interactivity.
The COVID-19 pandemic essentially killed Hypno’s business as live events dried up. However, the brands Hypno had worked with still had the same needs — they just had to go about reaching their customers in a different way.
That’s how Capsule came to exist. Launched last year, the startup offers a full platform for hosting Q&A sessions, where the brand starts with a template that they then customize to match their campaign by changing the logo, colors, buttons, background and URLs — sort of a like a Squarespace for the video Q&A format.
The brand will then write their questions and prompts for consumers to answer, in the form of short video responses. This Q&A URL is distributed however the company chooses — like on social media, for example. A new feature also allows a “capsule” to be embedded on the website.
The consumers’ responses to the Q&A are curated for the final video product. What makes the technology even more interesting is how Capsule assembles this footage.
Today, Capsule has grown its library to about 20 base templates. But each of these can be edited by changing colors, styles and even the music — including either from direct uploads or from thousands of royalty-free tracks Capsule provides.