Firework, which enables brands to offer interactive live streams, live commerce events, and shoppable videos on their websites, has on May 24 announced that it has raised $150 million in Series B funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2.
With this financing, the US-based company has raised about $250 million funding to date from investors such as IDG Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, AMEX Ventures and GSR Ventures. This includes a $55 million Series A funding in March last year.
The company plans to use the funds raised for hiring in engineering, product and marketing functions and roll out improvements to its overall platform.
Started in 2017 by Vincent Yang and Jerry Luk, Firework started off as a consumer-focused short video network focusing on offering premium 30-second user-generated video content created by a mix of professional and upcoming creators.
It moved to a business-to-business model in 2018, enabling publishers to show these short videos on their websites or apps, in a bid to capitalise on the boom in short video consumption across the world.
Over the years, it has built products such as shoppable video and live streaming commerce with monetisation capabilities, enabling retailers, consumer brands, and publishers to provide interactive video experiences on their owned and operated digital properties or apps.
“This investment will trigger accelerated growth across markets and particularly India,” said Firework Chief Revenue Officer, Jeff Lucas. “Over the last 24 months we have built a robust platform and business model and they have contributed to the customer successes we have had. The capital will not only help us continue building these success stories but also ensure that Firework, as a platform, never loses step with the bleeding edge of next-generation customer experience.”
Firework forayed into India in October 2019 and the company says it works with brands such as ITC Foods, Sugar Cosmetics, Big Bazaar, Boat, Fab India, The Man Company and Omnicom Media Group in the country.
“SoftBank Investment Advisors brings deep knowledge and expertise with years of experience in the D2C space,” said Firework India CEO Sunil Nair.
“Firework’s ambition to shape the next generation of internet and to become the infrastructure on which the next- generation of the internet is built and run-will be driven by our shared vision," he added.
Linda Yu, partner at SoftBank said short videos and livestreaming are now the default language for the digital era, which is reshaping how consumers engage with brands and products online."We believe Firework empowers businesses to use video to transform their websites into social and storytelling hubs so they can build deeper, long-term relationships with customers," she said.