Have you ever watched a movie and thought to yourself either “I really want that” or “I really want to go there“? Well now you can really buy that (or something a lot like it) or find a way to go there, thanks to TheTake.
The New York-based startup has raised $2 million in its first round of venture financing as it looks to roll out a mobile application and further develop its website allowing shoppers to buy almost anything they’ve seen on screen in a feature film, or film trailer.
Backing the company are a number of strategic and financial investors including the media investment and film financing group Demarest Films and former NBC Entertainment Co-Chairman and current Electus Chairman Ben Silverman, among others. Leading the round was Halic.
Through the company’s website, shoppers can peruse a Pinterest-like layout to shop for products or look for locations from films they’ve seen by movie, actor, or product category to get the looks from any of the 60 films that the company has currently cataloged.
Proceeds from the new investment will be used to build out its catalog of movies and launch the company’s mobile application, which TheTake calls a “Shazam for Movies”, allowing automatic content recognition to identify a film and display a specific scene on a users mobile device so users can shop the products displayed in the scene.
The company is the brainchild of Tyler Cooper, a former MGM Studios sales employee who managed partnerships with various cable companies from the studio’s New York office. As with most things in life these days, Cooper owes his new company to Kanye West.
It was West’s performance at the Video Music Awards in 2010 that gave Cooper the idea for TheTake (mainly because he wanted the suit). Three years later, Cooper would link with Jared Browarnik, TheTake’s chief technology officer and Vincent Crossley, the company’s chief product officer to make the vision real.
In Browarnik and Crossley, Cooper hit the programming jackpot. Browarnik is an Egleston scholar from Columbia’s engineering school, who co-founded a software development company that created one of the first 75 apps for Leap Motion, while Crossley built consumer products for Amazon and IAC.
“It’s a mix of manual and computer vision technology,” says Cooper of the software and human labor that goes into tracking products in films. “We use proprietary stuff that we’ve built in-house to track products in a film. We identify what that product is, working with the studio, working with the brand, or working through the costume designer [and] we use our software to track that out and tag it out in the film.”
The work starts before a movie is even finished, when the company pulls a trailer to catalog the wares and locations that can be gleaned from just that minute-and-a-half to three minutes of film, Cooper says.
TheTake intends to make money off of more than just sales from the site. The company is also collecting data about which actors and brands resonate the most with shoppers on the site, and could conceivably sell contextual or native advertising where it will serve up ads to other goods when a shopper searches for a particular product. Revenue generated from sales are typically split with the studios, according to Cooper.