Brizi Raises 2,5M In A New Funding Round, Makes Capturing Group Memories Better And Easier

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Below is our recent interview with Alexandre Nossovskoi, Head of Marketing at Brizi:

John Oxford

Q: How would you explain Brizi in your own words?

A: Brizi is building the largest network of group memories. We let anyone tap into nearby cameras to capture group memories at iconic places.

Let me decompile this a little. Brizi’s goal is to be anywhere group memories take place, and help capture those moments. Let’s say you’re at an NBA game, and you want to save the moment, what do you do? You can take a selfie from an awkward angle, you can pass your phone off to a stranger, or just simply leave someone out of the shot. Even then, you don’t always get the context of where you are, and why you’re there.

With Brizi, you go to a team webpage on your phone, tap in your seat number, and one of our robotic cameras pivots to find you. You get to see yourself on your phone, and have 30 seconds to pinch and zoom to get everyone in the shot. A branded overlay is added to the photo, which can be shared on your social media. It’s a lot of fun, and is totally free for groups.

On the client side, including rights-holders such as sports teams, it’s valuable because it’s an engaging experience that doubles as a sponsorship asset. Sponsors can brand overlays, and that means they are transforming the everyday fan into a micro-influencer for the team and the brand. It’s a win-win-win, fans get a stunning high-quality photo that shows they are at the game with everyone in the shot, teams improve their game-day experience, and sponsors build a deeper connection with fans.

There’s also a data layer that makes everything better, but we’re still in the early days of figuring out what’s possible.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for Brizi?

A: Anna Hu (CEO, Co-founder) and Sami Dalati (CTO, Co-founder) had built a first prototype in 2014, and had some early traction. They saw an opportunity in the market, and realized that the sports space was the perfect launchpad for the idea. Brizi as it is today, truly hit the stage at the start of 2016 with big wins with the NBA (76ers, Trailblazers) & the US Open. Just like athletes, companies in sports are hungry to innovate and grow, and Brizi is often a breath of fresh air for them.

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Q: How do people usually find out about your services?

A: For all the work that we do to get in front of rights-holders, we have a very lean sales and marketing team, so we are very reliant on our customers putting in a good word for us, and by innovative teams discovering Brizi on their own.

We know that the entertainment world is incredibly competitive, and teams that want to stay ahead of the game are always on the lookout for the most innovative ways to build deeper connections with fans. Unfortunately, teams don’t often have big budgets for these initiatives, but because our technology is brandable & sponsorable, it becomes a no-brainer for any forward-thinking rights-holder.

Q: Are you permanently installed in any arenas or venues? or Is your service a mobile one that can be installed for 1 game (or any other specific length of time)?

A: We own all our cameras, and we do this so that we can always deliver the best experience for fans, and for our clients. We’ve had cameras up for a few weeks, mostly for tournaments like with the US Open, or the Australian Open, but we’ve also have had mostly permanent installations for clients with many games throughout the season, like with the Philadelphia 76ers.

We’re not in the business of selling cameras, we are in the business of solving sponsorship, engagement, and data challenges for sports & entertainment rights-holders. When you’re seeing 300x social amplification on every shared photo, the value generated becomes obvious, every fan is an influencer.

Q: Who pays for the service? The teams or sponsors?

A: Currently, the rights-holders pay for the service, that might be a team or a tournament organizer. It’s valuable for them because they get to engage fans, collect data, and create a new, monetizable, sponsorship asset. For example, the US Open team engaged 14 different sponsors across the tournament and we worked with brands to design unique overlays for each.

Q: You have recently raised CA$2,5M, could you tell us more about your recent funding round?

A: Brizi is actually a bit unusual, today we’re less of a startup, and more of a full-grown business. Before we raised this capital, we hit cashflow break-even, that means the full $2.5M is going into growing the business. It can be challenging for any company to raise money, but in our case, it felt like there were additional barriers at play. We have an ethnic female CEO/co-founder, building up the company in sports, we really had to go the extra mile, having superb traction, de-risking the technology, getting marquee clients, to even get the time of day from certain investors.

The round was led by 2EP, they were the early investors in Harmonix (GuitarHero, RockBand), and they understood us from the start. We are incredibly happy to have them join us on this journey, and look forward to connecting with their network.

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Q: What are your plans for the future? Do you have any new features in the pipeline?

A: There’s a lot we’re excited for, we’re growing the team (we’re hiring! – brizicam.com/careers), building new data and augmented reality capabilities, and expanding to a market beyond sports. Landmarks are our first step, with an observation deck overseeing the Washington monument as the first client in the space. It’s a long-term vision, and we’re taking big steps to make our impact.

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