Hedge announced it has closed a $3M round of seed funding led by former Apple product marketing executive Steve Bayes in participation with other private media industry investors.
After riding a rollercoaster for six years straight, as Paul Matthijs, co-founder and CEO of Hedge says, the company raises $3M, acquires Divergent Media assets, invests in Colourlab and establishes world-class advisory team, all for one thing, adds Paul Matthijs: “to grow the team and thus the products. That’s why we involved not VC but industry veterans – people intimate with media workflows, and a knack for understanding user needs.”
Hedge, creator of intelligent software that simplifies complex media workflows from acquisition and asset creation to post-production, will use the investment to grow its team, and expand its media technology portfolio and capabilities through the acquisition of Divergent Media assets and investment in Colourlab. The financial transactions coincide with three strategic advisor appointments to help take the company through its next stage of growth: investor Steve Bayes, industry executive Estelle McGechie, and noted filmmaker Robin Moran.
Grow team, optimize workflow
“Hedge has had five consecutive years of profitable growth. But, even with our success and rapid development schedule, there’s still so much more we can build to make life even better for our customers,” states Paul Matthijs, co-founder and CEO of Hedge. “With this investment coming from industry leaders who understand the pain points we are trying to solve, we will grow our team and focus on optimizing the workflow for customers rather than finances, bringing new features and entirely new products to market faster. And by investing back into the industry, we are also building a new era of video workflows that are open, reliable, and fast – and that will catapult video production into the modern age.”
Hedge’s software intelligently transfers valuable video content from cameras to multiple storage media, and allows video editors to collaborate across the cloud. Thoughtful design runs through the company’s products, making them easy to use and dependably robust. The company’s recent seed funding, and its investments and acquisitions, will allow Hedge to maintain and grow its position at the centre of modern creative production and remove all friction from workflows from camera right through to edit.
From Divergent Media to Colourlab
The acquisition of Divergent Media assets and investment in Colourlab are an essential part of the plan. Divergent Media tools help with DIT, editing, finishing and transcoding. With access to these technologies, Hedge plans to consolidate and improve its products, without losing the essence of any of them. Colourlab represents an investment in the next frontier of color.
Paul Matthijs explains, “To remove even more workflow friction, we need to be able do more with video itself. That’s why we’re acquiring Divergent Media’s apps. Customers will have a more complete and friction free workflow with experts they can tap into. We are moving quickly and our customers can expect exciting new products born from EditReady, Scopebox, and Hedge technologies.”
Hedge is also the lead investor in Colourlab’s seed round, which was completed earlier this year. It’s AI-driven color grading technology enables users to match the color essence of a film clip and accurately apply it to a single clip or hundreds, automatically. Consistent with Hedge’s overriding ethos of efficiency and time-savings, Hedge’s investment into the color-focused technology company will help further commoditize workflows, enabling an even wider pool of users to participate in production and post-production.
Paul elaborates on the strategy behind the investment, “The final frontier is color. Within a few years, a non-destructive color workflow will become the most important cornerstone for any production. Colourlab is a great step forward towards enabling that and it’s the main reason why we are investing in their seed round. They are doing amazing things, and we see this as just the beginning of an amazing industry evolution and partner collaboration.”
The new Hedge advisors
Hedge strengthens its leadership capabilities with the establishment of an industry advisory board with power players Steve Bayes, Estelle McGechie, and Robin Moran. At the forefront of production technology for decades, the newly appointed Hedge advisors will offer sound guidance on evolving market dynamics, product evolution and customer experience.
Steve retired from Apple in 2018 after more than 12 years as Product Manager for Professional Applications. Before joining Apple, he was Principal Product Designer at Avid for over 10 years. With a record of successfully piloting a range of emerging technology developments for the film and video industry, Steve is a well-respected advisor and investor with more than 30 years of expertise in post-production, product development and tech marketing. Steve’s focused understanding of customer needs and the technology landscape will help guide Hedge’s continued success.
Serving as the Chief Product Officer at Atomos, Estelle is a highly effective leader with experience working for some of the world’s most renowned companies including Apple, Disney, and Logitech, with an impressive track record of successful product management and marketing that drives impeccable results. Estelle’s deep understanding of product development will serve as a huge asset to Hedge as they expand their offerings.
Robin’s versatility as an award-winning filmmaker enables him to direct, produce and edit feature films, tv series, documentaries, music videos, and TV commercials all over the world. His vast creative experience and technical insight as a filmmaker will help Hedge continue to offer an outstanding user experience.
Founded in 2016, Hedge is a Netherlands-born startup that simplifies complex media workflows from acquisition and asset creation to post-production. The Hedge team are informed by “Dutch Design,” as they prioritize the user experience, where ease of use goes hand-in-hand with its technical efficiency. Hedge is fully certified by Netflix, and a partner of the Netflix Production Technology Alliance.
The company’s flagship application, Hedge, set new standards for media backup, while Canister demystified the previously arcane process of LTO archiving. With the release of Postlab in 2019, Hedge made remote collaboration affordable for every editor working from home, and in the studio. Hedge’s products are in daily use by over 30,000 customers all over the world, from Hollywood productions to wedding shoots, and everything in between.