Filmmaking

Singapore-based online video startup Viddsee has raised an undisclosed sum in funding led by Japan-based CyberAgent Ventures (CAV), with participation from an unnamed private investor.

This takes the company’s total funding raised till date to US$2.3 million.

Viddsee plans to use the fresh capital to expand into new markets in the APAC region like Japan.

The startup is also exploring the possibility of expanding into Thailand and Vietnam, as well as international markets like the US. In addition, it will scale its operations team locally and overseas to optimise localisation in the respective markets.

Also Read: Asian short film portal Viddsee talks content strategy

“There is an increase in the Singaporean, Malaysian and particularly Filipino diaspora,” Co-founder, Derek Tan, said in an interview with e27. “The Filipinos who are tuning in are not just from the Philippines, but are also from the US,” he added.

Founded two years ago by Ho Jia Jian and Tan, Viddsee is a hybrid online video startup that showcases short films on its web platform and through its mobile app. It enables a global audience to easily discover, watch and share short films in Asia anywhere on their desktop and mobile devices. 

Through extensive curation and contextualised editorial packaging, Viddsee is able to market its films to a wide Asian audience that transcend national and cultural barriers.

The platform claims to see two million monthly active users, with the biggest share coming from the Philippines, followed by Indonesia and Taiwan.

“The Filipinos are receptive to not only domestic films but also Taiwanese films,” said Tan. “By collecting and analysing the meta data from the films, we are able to curate and create specialised categories that will connect with the audience.”

He added that with high mobile penetration in Asia, about 70 per cent of Viddsee’s audiences are engaging with its content through its Android and iOS platforms.

Also Read: Asian short films platform Viddsee launches Android app

According to Tan, “The idea of a mobile Internet cinema allows us to groom a whole different kind of audience. We want to create the tradition of audiences actively sharing content with their friends and family.”

New wave of cinematic experience

Mobile viewing, unlike traditional media, has less restrictions on the audiences’ consumption behaviour.

“Unlike traditional media platforms, time is not the main factor, but the story is,” said Tan.

The impetus for creating Viddsee was to tackle a major pain point of many short film creators — to attract a sizeable audience.

“Producers of short films typically showcase their films at short film festivals, or at arthouse festivals and museums, which generally doesn’t attract a lot of people,” said Tan.

Tan added that while filmmakers could leverage on existing online video platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo, the sheer volume of content would probably drown out these short films.

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“The challenge for filmmakers is to cut through all that noise,” he said.

Not all films will make the cut, though. Viddsee exists primarily as a platform for Asian filmmakers to make short films that ‘represent the voice of their community.’

“We want to see real stories stemming from real voices. We also look at the execution process. A good film has to have quality execution,” concluded Tan.

So, for all snuff filmmakers, stay clear.