ZEFR’s “go big, go fast” philosophy has paid off again, landing it on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America.
ZEFR placed #75 overall, and #12 in the Digital Content/Media/Entertainment category, with 1281% revenue growth from 2012 to 2015.
ZEFR’s history has been a series fast moves and big leaps. It was launched in 2012 by co-founders/CEOs Zach James and Richard Raddon, who had previously partnered on Movieclips, a company founded in 2009, dedicated to the online hosting and monetization of clips and trailers. ZEFR was designed to have a much broader scope as a technology company that uses data to identify, filter and optimize videos for content owners and brands on social platforms.
Over the next two years, ZEFR made several key strategic moves to build out its business. In Jan. 2013, it acquired video advertising optimization startup Pipewave. The following February, it closed a $30 million financing round led by Institutional Venture Partners, bringing it to $55 million in total equity funding. That year, it also sold Movieclips to Fandango (a division of Comcast) and acquired Salt Lake City-based social advertising startup Engodo.
As ZEFR continued to expand its RightsID content identification and monetization service for studios and labels, it came to realize that the insights and data it was amassing could be put to good use for brands. So, in July 2014, it launched BrandID, a new technology offering that identifies and targets content on YouTube that aligns with brands’ audiences.
Today ZEFR has more than 300 employees at its headquarters in Venice, Ca., and offices in New York, Chicago and Utah. Its RightsID and BrandID technologies are used by a wide variety of media and brand partners, including AMC, Universal Pictures, Paramount, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, MGM, The Weinstein Co., Bravo, “Saturday Night Live,” Hasbro Studios, Sony Music, Telemundo, Warner Music Group, Taco Bell, Honda, P&G, Target and soccer club Real Madrid.