Ask any video editors or content creators – video editing is probably one of the most complex processes – it requires a lot of practice, technological know-how, and creative skills. It also comes with a fair bit of technical setbacks/hurdles that commonly occur while editing videos using various video editing software and tools that are resource-intensive and involve a lot of computing.
Most video editing software today, including Apple iMovie, Adobe Premiere Pro, etc., ideally requires expensive graphic cards or the latest systems like Mac Studio, iMac, and Microsoft Surface Studio to perform extensive tasks. Otherwise, you will most likely deal with computer crashing, getting too slow during editing, video file crashing while editing, and so on.
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What’s more? Once the video is rendered/generated for preview or quality check, sharing these large-size files with the other team members can get exhausting, resulting in many more issues like delay in production, videos with out-of-sync audio, corrupted video files, etc. In other words, team collaboration can get messy when editing videos.
“How do you make the system-heavy tasks easier on the web? That is where we come in,” said Vinayak Shrivastav, co-founder and CEO at VideoVerse, saying that their tools and products are browser-friendly. As a result, video creators can go online and edit most of the functionalities effortlessly.
Based in Mumbai, India, and with offices in the UK, Europe and Israel, VideoVerse (formerly Touch.ai) is revolutionising expensive and time-consuming legacy processes. This video AI company is taking video editing to the cloud and web-based platforms, simplifying the whole experience of video editing for everyone.
“The idea actually transformed over the last two years; we built a very simple technology that could do editing for enterprise solutions. In the last 18 months, we have expanded our horizon beyond editing for enterprises and built different applications for various case studies,” shared Vinayak Shrivastav, co-founder and CEO at VideoVerse.
VideoVerse was co-founded by Shrivastav, Saket Dandotia, and Alok Patil in 2016. The company is backed by Stride Ventures, Innoven Capital, Pacific Western Bank, A91 Partners, Alpha Wave Global, and the former co-founder of Flipkart, Binny Bansal.
The company currently offers three flagship products. This includes its core product Magnifi, alongside Styck and Illusto.
Magnifi provides real-time video highlight technology for enterprises, particularly sports, media and entertainment, news, and others. Styck platform enables creators to live stream simultaneously across multiple social media platforms. Illusto is a web-based editor that works as an intuitive tool to help users create videos on the go and share them across various social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat, among others.
Shrivastav said that analysing live sports comes with its own set of challenges, especially in the accuracy and recall rate of the sport detection model. Moreover, in a live feed, you never have complete control of the situation, and the deployment of any feature has to be done assuming there will be certain unexpected events and situations.
Citing cricket, he said they have a deep learning model to detect bowler action, which works well with the validation data; however, an unexpected change in the camera recording angle or the bowler not being in focus can lead to a recognition anomaly. Further, he said similarly, in football, the most challenging part is the camera motion or the change in position of the ball with respect to the ground; therefore, a ball being kicked out of camera focus can lead to lower detection accuracy. The solution here would involve taking these outliers and training the machine to detect such moments and be able to address them.
“We have created an application where the sample data from the live events is collected, our data science team verifies this data, and we then use it to train our model and improve on speed and accuracy. Algorithms to verify the event with audio and OCR analysis are also added,” explained Shrivastav.
To further ensure speed of deployment, especially since the analysis has to be completed and the output generated with negligible latency, often with a frame rate of 30-50 fps, VideoVerse is using high-performing GPU machines deployed on cloud platforms like AWS, GCP, Azure, etc.
Some of the product features they have recently deployed at Magnifi include an automatic title generator for events and highlights, an “Auto-flip” aspect ratio to convert any video into a mobile-optimised format and auto-production of mobile-friendly Web Stories for sports.
Tech stack at VideoVerse
VideoVerse and its three distinct cloud-agnostic products use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology to revolutionise how content is refined and consumed. As far as specific stacks go, for Magnifi, the key technologies used are face and image recognition, vision models, optical character recognition, audio detection and NLP. Styck and Illusto both use full-stack applications (MERN [Mongo, Express, React, Node]).
Edit videos seamlessly
For those unaware, OBS is a free and open-source programme for recording and live streaming. It does not have a built-in editing tool. In other words, if you are using platforms built on OBS, you will need a video editor.
Shrivastav said OBS is very system heavy; you need a good CPU to run it properly. “So, we realised that what we built at the back end has a very good use case that can actually create a new product out of it,” he said, sharing the origin of Styck, which the co-founder believes would one day replace OBS.
Today, VideoVerse has developed simple tools for users to play around with, where they can create content simply with the click of a button. “We are trying to create a universe around video editing as an ecosystem,” said Shrivastav. “Today, we might have three products, but we will be developing a suite of products in the coming months.”
VideoVerse is not alone in this segment. Currently, it competes with a whole gamut of companies offering cutting-edge technology solutions for video editing.
One of the companies includes Descript, a platform for creative tools, making audio and video creation as fast, accessible, and collaborative as Google Docs. “We are building something similar within Illusto,” said Shrivastav, saying that the user can go through transcription and edit the content rather than trying to go through the timescale.
Last year, Canva also got into video editing and launched Video Suite, an end-to-end video creation product that lets everyone design and publish professional-quality videos. Interestingly, VideoVerse is also developing a similar collaborative component to its Styck and Magnifi platforms.
Other players include Clipchamp, VEED.io, Visme, Adobe Spark Video, Biteable, Vimeo Create, and InVideo, among others. But, the question is, how is VideoVerse different from other players in the market?
“Given how this segment is growing, I understand that to be indispensable; it is imperative to be different. Hence we are constantly learning from those in a similar domain,” said Shrivastav, saying that the AI and video editing technology is still evolving.
First mover advantage
The video editing software market is expected to reach USD 3.04 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 5.9 per cent from 2020 to 2027. The market is said to be driven by the media and broadcast industry. “There are a lot of interesting tools that are coming up in the market, and that kind of tells you that the market in itself has been growing aggressively. That is why companies are trying to capture 5 per cent of the pie over the next two years,” said Shrivastav. He said, in India, they do not have a direct competitor.
For instance, one of the leading players in the video editing landscape, Adobe, achieved record revenue of USD 4.39 billion in its second quarter of the fiscal year 2022 – a 14 per cent YoY growth or 15 per cent in constant currency.
Shrivastav also pointed out the rise of content creators in the country. With a market size of nearly 50 million content creators, the creator’s economy is anticipated to be USD 104.2 billion in 2022. “The created content is equal to the amount of content we have consumed in the last ten years,” he added.
He said that it is a growing market; like every month, it is going to change based on the way your data consumption improves, and with 5G around the corner, the data consumption is going to quadruple from where it is because you can load data faster, inevitably consuming more content. When that happens, VideoVerse looks to be the go-to option for many content creators and video editors to create videos seamlessly, besides its enterprise play.
“Our thought process has been very simple – we want to create a simple and efficient tool,” said Shrivastav. He also said the company is looking to expand to multiple locations in the coming months.
VideoVerse has about 140+ employees and looks to add 250-300 people by the end of this year. The team said its entire back end and digital marketing initiatives have been set up in India. The leadership team, including the three co-founders, are operating out of India. “We recently started setting up a product team, where the majority are from India,” said Shrivastav.
Without revealing the names, he said that the product team head recently joined the team, a Harvard graduate, and said they have also set up their data science team in Israel, led by an MIT alumnus. In addition, they have already started setting up a sales team in Europe and the US. “In the next couple of months, we are going to start discussing and look at adding interesting engineering talents coming out of Eastern Europe,” said Shrivastav.
VideoVerse said that it has built its platform on a freemium model as they want people to come and use its platform first before they start looking at paying. In addition, the team said that they have built-in a monthly subscription model, which lets users access premium-grade features. One of the interesting things about VideoVerse is that it does not depend on your editing, consumption, or streaming, as the platform works on a fixed pricing model.