Sunday June 7, 2020

Video Sherpa signs hospital deal after €500k funding round

The start-up’s online production platform will allow University Hospital Galway to provide remote patient services

10th May, 2020
Anna Downes, chief executive Video Sherpa: Covid-19 has presented new opportunities for the company. Picture: Andrew Downes

Clinicians will provide remote services to patients using an online video platform developed by Video Sherpa in a new deal with University Hospital Galway (UHG).

The deal, agreed in response to Covid-19 restrictions, follows a €500,000 funding round closed at the start of the month by the Galway start-up.

The Video Sherpa platform is an online production platform that allows companies to create and manage their own video content quickly and easily.

“We've signed a one-year subscription deal with UHG because they want to continue to deliver patient services online, and video is a big part of that,” Anna Downes, co-founder and chief executive at Sherpa Video, said.

“Since Covid-19 hit, we’ve seen companies and organisations in a lot of sectors looking at how they can deliver their services online.

“What we’re focusing on now is where our product fits into that and who might need it. It’s really about taking a breath and looking anew at the opportunities that are out there right now.”

Finding the right market fit for Video Sherpa is a priority for Downes. The marketer established the company in 2017 with her videographer husband Andrew, trading initially as ShowHouz.

“Our target market starting out was real estate, but the traction we were getting wasn’t what we had hoped it would be,” said Downes.

“The business was growing, but it was growing slowly. We felt that we had a good platform, but that we had maybe targeted the wrong sector.”

The couple decided to go back to the market to gauge what sectors might be more receptive. They relaunched the platform as Video Sherpa last November following in-depth research.

“We focused on sectors that were already using video more than real estate. We reasoned that they would already have firsthand experience of the pain points we were trying to solve,” said Anna Downes.

“Hiring an outside production company or videographer every time you want to create video content really slows down the amount of content you can create and it can be expensive.”

The strongest response to Video Sherpa came from third-level education, manufacturing and the public sector. Since relaunching its rebranded platform late last year, the firm has secured contracts with Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Údarás na Gaeltachta and Kingspan, the building materials company.

“The market research we did has been hugely important,” said Downes. “Video Sherpa was already an end-to-end solution. It's guided, so people can film their own content, edit and publish it.

“Crucially, they can manage all of the content on one platform, but based on the feedback we got, we’ve added new collaborative features, like a file management system, a digital asset library and publishing approval mechanisms.”

Video Sherpa is a high potential start-up client of Enterprise Ireland. The state agency participated in the company’s seed round alongside a number of angel investors.

“As a small Irish company trying to knock on doors internationally, you’re met with a much better response if an Enterprise Ireland person can make an introduction for you,” said Downes.

“We’ve used their London office and their offices in the US. That’s really helped us to find our feet in those markets,” she said.

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