News startup Stringr is announcing that it has raised $1.5 million in funding.
Co-founder and CEO Lindsay Stewart previously worked as a TV news producer for ABC, Bloomberg and Fox News, and she said the service was “really born out of this newsroom need of getting footage quickly, in a transparent way.”
For example, if there’s a big tornado, TV stations are going to want footage, but they might not have the resources (or be close enough) to send their own team. That’s a need that the existing stringer system aims to fill, but Stewart and her team think they can make the process faster, more frictionless and more inclusive.
Stringr says that when a media organization logs in, they can post a request for the footage that they need and get something back in under an hour. Stewart said Stringr is open to professional videographers, as well as “anybody who’s interested in news, anybody who’s interested in videography.”
At the same time, she said Stringr isn’t the same as most crowdsourced news services (such as Fresco News) — the point isn’t to get everybody to contribute, but rather to make sure there are enough good videographers to provide high-quality responses to newsroom requests.
Stewart also said that one of the key parts of Stringr’s approach is a curation team that works with both the media customers and the videographers. On the media side, that means ensuring that they get the footage they’re looking for, while on the videographer side, it means “guiding them to shoot better videos.”
There are currently 10,000 videographers on the service, Stringr says. While the current focus is on editorial footage (whether it’s related to breaking news or more “evergreen”), Stewart suggested that the company could also start working with other businesses that need video.
The funding, meanwhile, comes from Matter (the media-focused startup accelerator where Stringr was incubated), Founder.org and Signia Ventures.
“We have learned a lot about our videographers in our pilot markets in the last year,” Stewart said. “Now we’re going to take those learnings and apply them to a nationwide push.”