Venture Studio has its moment in Australia:
The Josephmark touch that led to Clipchamp’s Microsoft Acquisition
For Windows users around the world, a new tile is about to make its way onto the homepage and that tile belongs to the homegrown efforts of Australian start-up, Clipchamp. Claiming a prominent place among the Microsoft 365 Suite, Clipchamp is an Australian success story that supports the promise Josephmark has touted for over a decade; that venture studio is the go-to model for startup success.
Josephmark and Clipchamp first crossed paths back in 2014, when Clipchamp CEO and Co-founder Alex Dreiling approached JM with an early-stage concept for bringing in-browser video editing to the masses. Having already worked on global digital platforms Myspace and Twitter-acquired WeAreHunted, Josephmark saw this as an opportunity to empower video creators at a global scale. Jumping forward to today, this collaboration has equated to serving over 17 million users worldwide, more than 390,000 companies, and has won Clipchamp the analogy as the Canva for video.
Venture as a service (VaaS) is a relatively new business model that has been growing in recognition as a repeatable machine for big wins and even bigger impact. The startup ecosystem is littered with failed ventures, but the venture studio model instead uses this graveyard as fertile soil for growth. The model celebrates compounding knowledge, as the same studio builds ventures again and again over a multitude of domains: all learnings, and failings, stay within the same team to inform investment decisions and derisk the execution of successive ventures.
Clipchamp first approached JM with a unique technology, a pioneering video compression algorithm, which they had commercialised as a video file compression utility. For any fans of HBO’s Silicon Valley, yes, this is as close to the fictional Pied Piper’s compression algorithm narrative as one could get. Clipchamp's founders knew they were onto something special with their tech, but were alert to Josephmark’s track-record in turning powerful underlying technology into great products.
Josephmark and Clipchamp went through an initial recon, or reconnaissance; a deep-dive into potential outcomes that could see their revolutionary algorithm as a commercially viable product while maximising the benefits afforded by the technology. Recons are a popular offering at Josephmark, helping startups rapidly develop their ideas into investable propositions. With multiple potential avenues explored, JM narrowed in on a single vision for an in-browser video creation and editing tool that would empower novices and content creators alike to create compelling content in-browser. With this vision clearly articulated, Josephmark crafted an investment narrative and participated in an investor roadshow which successfully raised the capital needed to bring this vision to life.
With investors on board, the combined team turned to the task of building out what was to become the future of the business — the in-browser video editor.
In-browser video editing may not sound as revolutionary in today’s time, but in 2014, it had been impossible to do without server side processes. Video files are huge, and it took significant time transferring files back and forth over internet connections to render and store these files.
However, Clipchamp’s technology allowed all of this to happen right there and then. Josephmark led the product team, augmenting Clipchamp’s strong technical capabilities with venture strategy, product design, content, and motion specialists managed through sprint based cycles building out the venture roadmap.
As the team raced towards launch, Josephmark helped Clipchamp begin to assess, make, and train key hires — the future custodians of the product who would be responsible for the operation and growth of the product in market. Capacity building is essential to the successful trajectory of any venture and it’s a hugely valuable part of how Josephmark delivers venture as a service.
“Planning to make ourselves redundant by building internal capability within any given venture is a great example of the venture mindset in action.” — Matt McCauley, JM Managing Partner
After Clipchamp’s initial launch, the startup went on to grow at 54% YOY growth, a spectacular growth that confirmed the market demand. Clipchamp had the perfect product at the right time for the right users. In the decade of video-heavy content creation, Clipchamp was ready and waiting. In 2021, Microsoft reached out with an offer to include the product in their global Microsoft 365 Suite; and in September the acquisition was final. Microsoft’s Office 365 supports 200 million monthly active users, of which Clipchamp’s product will now be at their 200 million fingertips.
Clipchamp’s success is the latest in a line of JM ventures and joint ventures, spanning industries over nearly a decade. Josephmark has recently partnered with VentureCrowd, an Australian crowdfunding platform funding early-stage ventures. With a history of over $160mil raised for Australian ventures and a track record of successful exits, this partnership seeks to strengthen JM’s venture capabilities.
“By plugging our venture model directly into VentureCrowd, and bringing their 63,000 investors on the journey with these founders, we can supercharge the startup process. This really makes us the one-stop shop for promising ventures.” — Ben Johnston, JM Founder
While the creative workflow differs with the needs of every client, Josephmark’s venture studio methodology is consistent: backed by research, a world-class team with collective decades of experience bringing companies to life, and a passion for building gravitational businesses. The story of Clipchamp is a standout example of intelligent people coming together to create powerful products that create worldwide impact. Josephmark’s venture studio model has been leading the charge for over a decade, partnering with innovative founders to turn their ideas into thriving businesses.
The venture studio model helped lay the foundation for Clipchamp’s Microsoft acquisition — and we can’t wait to see what they do as part of the Microsoft family. Josephmark works with entrepreneurs and enterprises to define and redefine brands, products and entire new businesses.