For many startups, raising capital is a key step to expanding operations overseas. Not so for Sydney-based video tech startup Shootsta, which has recently launched offices in Singapore, and slated January 2018 launches for an expansion to the US and UK, all without extra investment.
Since launching in 2015, Shootsta’s subscription-based model has been successful enough to fund these expansions, and staff numbers have quadrupled from 8 to 32 in the past year.
Building off the back of $1 million in seed funding last year from ASX-listed Adcorp, Shootsta built out their video creation platform, which enables companies to create video content at scale by providing them with a custom built camera kit, training on using the equipment, and dedicated video editors to create videos within a 24-hour turnaround time.
The platform’s “blue chip” customers, which include Oracle, Qantas, Visa and Stockland, have grown from 20 to 80 strong in the past year, and have generated enough revenue to expand internationally.
Co-founder Tim Moylan says Shootsta’s network of high-profile clients were instrumental in facilitating their expansion in to overseas markets.
“We’ve had international referrals – Oracle signed up in Australia and we had a call from someone at Oracle in Singapore,” who was interested in the company, he says.
Investment isn’t the only option
Moylan notes the subscription model, which at its higher end costs a client almost $10,000 per month for 12 months, has offered the startup the “guaranteed income” security to build on its offerings without injections of investment.
He also says Shootsta didn’t seek investment because the startup “didn’t want to give away any more equity in the company” given that could mean “potential problems with our investment partners.”
While many startups see bringing investors on board as key opportunities for network growth and industry expertise, Moylan notes this can come at the cost of autonomy and dexterity.
“We just want to be able to grow as quickly as we can and be as agile as we can,” he says.
“The less people involved at the board level means that we can make decisions faster.”
Moylan advises other startup founders who are seeking alternatives to investor capital to build a “scalable model that you can offer anyone in the world.”
“We can service someone in India as easily as we can service someone in Australia,” he says, noting that the key to their success is “having clients on board that you can service from anywhere in the world”.
Moylan’s co-founder and Shootsta chief executive Mike Pritchett is currently relocating to head the Singapore office, which is already running cash-flow positive.
“We’re taking what we’ve done here [in Australia] and replicating our success in Singapore and then on to the US and UK,” Moylan says.