Storykit and Expedition’s partnership
Storykit puts science into the art of video storytelling
Over the last decade, video has become an essential part of every company’s communication. That’s why Peder Bonnier and Fredrik Strömberg developed Storykit, a video creation platform that removes the cost and complexity of creating videos. It enables storytellers to quickly and easily create a wide variety of videos without specialist production teams. The Storykit team has delivered huge year-on-year growth through bootstrapping, and we’ve now invested to help the team grow the company even further.
Video has become our most popular way of consuming content: the stats are mind-blowing. This year, video is expected to become more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic. 92% of internet users watch video content each week. Videos on LinkedIn get three times the engagement of text posts. Social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and image posts combined…
But it can be hard for companies to keep up with demand and expectations for video content using the traditional production process, which involves professional designers and video producers, storyboards, and animation, and is therefore slow. And while some online tools offer templates to deliver videos more quickly, they don’t provide the quality or creative flexibility companies need to protect their brand.
Peder Bonnier and Fredrik Strömberg founded Storykit in 2018 to fill this gap in the market. Their mission: to make it easy for companies to publish professional video stories at high volume and high quality, without the need for video production teams.
“Storytellers can quickly create videos themselves, without sacrificing quality or speed of delivery. It takes what’s so fantastic about text – almost unlimited flexibility of format, style, length – and puts it into a simplified video creation process that makes it easy to scale up video production for any publishing platform,” says Peder Bonnier, Storykit’s co-founder and CEO.
VIEW FROM THE FOUNDER
Peder Bonnier, Co-founder and CEO, Storykit
“We truly believe that a great story can be crucial for business success and, ultimately, make the world a better place. If we can give communicators the tools, the insights, and the community they need to tell their stories then we will succeed, and I am extremely excited working with Expedition to fulfil that mission.”
The early years
Fredrik and Peder have a long history together, having previously run the digital products team at Bonnier Tidskrifter, one of Sweden’s oldest and largest publishing groups. Here, the pair saw the dramatic shift in the way content was being consumed (overwhelmingly through mobile, social, and video) and the rise of content democratisation, meaning anyone could publish a story without having to go through the traditional media outlets.
Peder and Fredrik realised this would mean huge changes for the way businesses deliver content, and that it would require new technology. “It’s a huge challenge for content producers in a world where social networks and platforms host their own content, and each has very different requirements for how it’s uploaded,” Peder says. And in 2018, Storykit was launched: a video creation platform for the social world.
It’s so easy to use. Storykit automatically segments any text into a suggested storyboard, depending on the type of video you want to create: a video ad, interview, product demo, etc. Storytellers can then drag/drop, edit, add still images, video and sound or music elements, or search stock libraries directly from within the storyboard.
Smart technology is integral to the platform. “We use AI to make Storykit more efficient and effective. For example, we identify quotes, paragraphs, preamble, etc, and automatically apply styles that follow brand guidelines, and make suggestions in other image search terms you might not have thought of,” Peder says. “We also use data and analytics to help people decide what content decisions they should be taking along the way.”
Once the storyboard is complete, teams anywhere in the world can collaborate directly within Storykit, to review or localise. The final video is then created in the right format for the social channels it’s destined for.
The opportunities of investment
Over the first few years of operation, it was clear Peder and Fredrik had understood the market and demand. By 2021, Storykit was seeing growth of nearly 100%, and the platform was being used by businesses in Sweden and beyond, including Skandia, Dun & Bradstreet, and Lufthansa. So the team started to think seriously about an external investment.
“As a highly successful bootstrapped company, there wasn’t a particular deadline, or an urgent need for a cash injection,” Peder says. “But with such high growth, it was clear that Storykit was meeting a substantial need in the marketplace, and investment would enable us to grow the company more quickly to meet this demand, by developing our product to make it even more fantastic, and by growing our support functions.”
Our investment manager and fellow Swede, David Olsson, first met Peder in 2020, and the two continued to meet regularly throughout 2021, leading up to the fundraising process in Q4. We were excited about what Storykit was building from day one. “It’s technologically brilliant, but also an example of a highly viable business, because it really focuses on what’s valuable to its customers: making it easy for brands to deliver their message by video,” says David.
We made a $10 million investment in Storykit in December 2021, with David joining the board of directors, along with Oliver Thomas, Expedition’s managing partner.
For Peder and Fredrik, it was important to find an investment partner they could work with for the long term. “David and Oliver are great individuals that we are happy to work with,” Peder says. “An investment round is very much a relationship-based process, and the most important thing as a founder or entrepreneur is that you and your investors like each other. You’ll be going through many different chapters together. It can be intense at times, and there are sometimes challenges. So you really have to trust each other.”
Peder also liked Expedition’s approach of focusing on businesses just like Storykit: very fast growing B2B SaaS companies that have been built in a highly capital-efficient way. “It means we know Expedition has a real understanding of our business model and the wider market. They are on board with what we do, and with the plans we have,” he says.
“On a practical level, we get exactly the right balance of support from the Expedition team. There’s no management by committee – I know that between David and Oliver, they can make all the decisions that need to be made and we can quickly get things done,” Peder says.
Expedition’s pan-European experience was also a contributing factor in the decision to choose us as investors. “A significant proportion of our sales now come from outside of Sweden, so working with an investor with a pan-European perspective is useful,” he says.
Our investment will enable the Storykit team to deliver even faster growth. The key to Storykit is having an exceptional product, and our investment will enable the team to continue developing the absolute best product experience for its customers and users. The team will additionally expand other core business functions, including sales, marketing, and customer success.
Peder is excited about the future. “With Storykit, we want to radically improve the storytelling experience for businesses around the world,” he says. “We truly believe that a great story can be crucial for business success and, ultimately, make the world a better place. If we can give communicators the tools, the insights, and the community they need to tell their stories then we will succeed, and I am extremely excited working with Expedition to fulfil that mission.”
It’s exciting for us too. “At Expedition, we see enormous potential for Storykit in the years ahead,” says David. “Storykit is addressing an increasingly universal corporate and departmental need – to rapidly create any kind of video that is highly professional, brand aligned, and cost effective. We look forward to supporting them on the journey.”
Find out more about Storykit at storykit.io
Book a demo at storykit.io/book-a-demo/