The media licensing enterprise is an enormous market, however a lot of the work concerned continues to be dealt with manually by way of emails and spreadsheets. A startup known as Flowhaven is working to vary that. The firm, which has now closed on $16 million in Series A funding, helps manufacturers to handle their licensing partnerships, together with the account administration elements, the person product data, the monetary data, and extra.
The new spherical was led by Sapphire Sport, the a part of Sapphire Ventures that makes a speciality of sports activities, media and way of life manufacturers. Existing traders Global Founders Capital and Icebreaker.vc additionally returned, bringing Flowhaven’s whole elevate to this point to $21.5 million.
The concept to modernize the media licensing enterprise comes from a founder who had direct expertise within the business.
Flowhaven CEO Kalle Törmä beforehand labored on licensing for the Angry Birds cellular sport franchise whereas at Rovio, beginning again in 2012. While there, he created the worldwide blueprint for managing the merchandising facet of the enterprise, which later expanded to incorporate partnerships for the Angry Birds Star Wars and Angry Birds Transformers video games.
“It was evident that the workflows had been very damaged — from managing the commerce, or the agreements, the product approvals, and financials. The data was very siloed. Also, there have been numerous issues that fell by way of the cracks,” explains Törmä.
In addition, it was time consuming and tough to tug collectively knowledge that will permit administration to grasp how the enterprise was doing.
The challenges Törmä confronted at Rovio led him to grasp what could be wanted to create an answer like Flowhaven — significantly, the problem of managing tough licensing workflows and timetables by way of handbook strategies.
He left Rovio in 2016 and based Flowhaven, the place he’s joined by college pal and CCO Timo Olkkola, whose background is in gross sales.
Today, the Flowhaven licensing administration platform automates the model licensing workflow course of, together with the planning and technique, account and settlement administration, content material distribution, design approvals, royalty reporting, and extra.
It additionally helps to maintain groups on schedules that may typically be tight within the media and leisure companies.
“There’s at all times a timeframe that they comply with — whether or not it’s a movie launch or sport launch,” Törmä says. “There are lot of transferring items in closing all of the agreements after which transferring the merchandise by way of the approvals [so when], let’s say, a movie comes out, a few months prior, the merchandise hits the retail cabinets,” he says.
“If you don’t have the merchandise authorised and prepared, then you definitely didn’t actually seize the momentum,” Törmä provides.
Flowhaven pitches that its software program isn’t simply saving time, it additionally saves cash. The firm estimates that licensing professionals waste 50 hours monthly at $70 per hour on work that could possibly be automated. This equals roughly $42,000 per yr wasted for a single skilled.
As of its new funding, Flowhaven’s software-as-a-service platform has been adopted by near 100 corporations, starting from smaller enterprise to Fortune 100 corporations in markets like media, leisure, sports activities, vogue, and by company and client manufacturers Though some buyer names can’t be shared, Flowhaven says it’s working with Nintendo, LAIKA, Games Workshop, Acamar Films, and Crunchyroll.
Its pricing is predicated on what number of customers can be on the platform. This doesn’t embody these with visitor entry exterior the group, who’re at all times freed from cost.
The firm additionally stories 400% year-over-year progress and says it’s anticipating that development to proceed, however declines to share its present income figures.
The further funding will assist Flowhaven gasoline its progress, broaden its product and platform, and assist in hiring, Törmä says. Today, the corporate’s workers is cut up between workplaces in Helsinki, London and L.A. however says it’s seeing probably the most progress within the latter two.
In phrases of the product itself, the plan is to additional develop Flowhaven’s analytics and velocity up the method of exchanging data between the model homeowners and their licensees.
Already in 2021, Flowhaven is rising. It started the yr with a workforce of 30 and is now 43 folks. Throughout the yr, Törmä says the workforce will develop to almost 100.