The internet has made it as easy as ever to self-publish, but finding a producer can provide an extra boost. British startup Clowdy aims to fill this space as a sort of LinkedIn geared specifically towards content producers who need a leg up in getting their work out on the market.
The service, which is available through the web or mobile on Android or iOS, provides content creators a place to upload an unlimited amount of material. From there, they can follow or connect with other “creatives”, to collaborate, and to sell their work. Whereas there are already places for artists to put their work out, one of the stated aims of Crowdly is to provide an opportunity for those who work behind the scenes to showcase their portfolio and receive credit. Clowdy currently operates on a freemium model, allowing users to take advantage of the service for free, but also letting them pay up in order to access analytics and customization options, as well as promote their work through the network.
According to Stuart Logan, who co-founded the startup and currently acts as CEO, the inspiration for the project grew from a previous service that he developed, YouTorrent, which aimed to help independent musicians and attracted a few hundred thousand users, but peaked due to its nature (torrent sites being viewed as a haven for piracy). Logan later hit it big when he founded software-development company Amnis Technology, a company which he and his partner Damien Shiells grew to the point that it generated 1.4 million pounds in annual revenue and 6 million downloads of its Windows utility software products. Thanks to the success of that business, the duo, who met in college, decided to take advantage of that company’s success by doing what they really wanted to try and ended up building Clowdy as a platform for artists. Logan reports that they have picked up 75,000 pounds in external funding from an undisclosed angel investor and bootstrapped the rest themselves.
Clowdy was founded back in August 2012, but did not launch their service until the next August. Despite the modest amount of outside backing for the project, they have pulled in more than 70,000 registered users and supported more more than 60,000 pieces of content (a figure which has more than doubled from 18,000, as of November 2014) and 300,000 connections through their network.