Catch&Release Raises $14M in Series A Funding

April 20, 2021

Today we’re excited to share that Catch&Release has raised $14M in Series A funding led by Accel, with participation from some existing investors including Cervin Ventures, bringing our total raised to just over $26M. This fresh funding will allow us to take our initial vision and model that has supported hundreds of brands in their creative endeavors over the past six years, and accelerate our efforts to turn it into a scalable technology-driven solution that can serve advertisers and teams everywhere. 


It’s no secret that skepticism towards advertising is at an all-time high, especially among younger generations. Stock photos (or even staged photoshoots), no longer resonate with savvy consumers that crave authenticity and individuality. As a result, brands eagerly pursue new ways to captivate, build trust, and stand out. This is where Catch&Release comes in. 


Catch&Release brings authenticity to brands


Catch&Release helps brands and advertisers to build standout, award-winning campaigns through found content, meaning content that already exists on the internet today, uploaded by creators, including directors, photographers, producers, entrepreneurs, and everyday people. Whether it be film footage that a videographer uploaded from his visit to New York, an Instagram post from a woman that is chronicling motherhood, or some friends getting creative with the latest TikTok challenge. 


Through a combination of technology and human expertise, we sift through images and videos on the internet to uncover authentic collateral that can power brand stories. Using proprietary tools, Catch&Release identifies the “licensability” of the content through its web extension, does the work to secure necessary rights while tracking clearance approvals in real-time, and gives customers a place to discover, curate, and collaborate with one another through its cloud-based platform.

Curate the Internet - Licensability
"Dell Blue has a creative team of over 220 people but working remotely, which makes efficient collaboration challenging but also critical,” said Brent Holt, Head of Integrated Content Production, Dell. “Catch&Release provides a powerful, unified platform for us to sift through hundreds of curated shots that expand outside of our typical visuals. We can then make decisions together to produce high-quality visual campaigns in less time.  Our entire team has been really impressed by what they have to offer and will definitely use them more in the future."

We’ve seen strong product adoption with a 100% increase in content licensed on the platform in the first quarter of 2021, and a doubling in revenue year-over-year. We’ve worked with creative agencies and brands to support dozens of the Fortune 500 and reinforce their market positions through campaigns that set them apart.  


With Catch&Release, we build upon the 500 million items available through stock photo sites like Shutterstock and instead turn the entire internet into a content library. Every year 1.3 trillion photos and videos are uploaded to the internet and now Catch&Release puts them at our customer’s fingertips. With our product, no longer will two companies spend millions on a Super Bowl campaign, only to have the same stock video clip be used in their commercials. 


“The magic of Catch&Release is that they’ve systematized the finding and licensing of found footage. Your strike rate on getting a licensable asset is much higher than doing it yourself,” says Eric Weisberg, global chief creative officer at Doner. “There is more variety, more authenticity and often more magic in those found moments that you couldn’t fake with stock footage.”


The unusual journey that led us here


The journey that led me here may look a bit different from other startup founders. I’ve received an MFA instead of an MBA, and worked in production and advertising for years at creative leaders like Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. 


During my career, I had the opportunity to work on large high profile campaigns with what felt like unlimited resources at my fingertips. Even with all of this, I was often taken aback by the messy, ad hoc, and manual ways we’d employ to collaborate on found content. The only approach often involved having all 70 people working on a campaign locked in a room together to make decisions. Needless to say, meetings like that are very inefficient (not to mention expensive). 


I know our customer pain points inside and out, because I have been in their shoes. This has allowed us to build a product that resonates, and not only improves their workflows (which was the original intention) but also the finished product, by unlocking an endless supply of new content. 


“The ways people create and consume content has radically changed over the last decade, and yet businesses have been slow to keep up or take advantage of the massive opportunity it presents for their brands,” said Eric Wolford, Partner, Accel. “We invest in companies that change how people do business, and Catch&Release is going to drive the next generation of marketing and advertising.”


We’re on a mission to unite creative storytelling with found moments, and this is just the beginning. 

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