Aframe Brings Cloud Video Production Platform to North America

London-based Aframe, a cloud video production platform designed to liberate the professional video production process, announced that the company has launched its Aframe service into North America.

Aframe has established operations in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles where it has deployed the company’s private cloud infrastructure to support its growing US client list, while also better serving global clients like the BBC and MTV. The move gives Aframe local presence in the world’s top three global production centers – London, New York, and LA – where data centers provide the ingest and high-speed upload facilities to meet the needs of major video production, feature film, advertising and corporate projects.

Fuelling the company’s expansion is a new $7 million Series A round of venture capital funding, provided by Octopus Investments (“Octopus”) and Eden Ventures, with participation by existing investor, Northstar Ventures.

Aframe also named Mark Overington, part of the founding team at Avid Technology and its former head of marketing, as president of Aframe North America. While at Avid, Overington grew the company from an idea to $500 million in revenues, and established Avid’s nonlinear editing platform as the catalyst behind the industry’s shift from editing as cutting tape into editing as a fully digital process.

Aframe was co-founded by David Peto, a former founder of a London post production facility with a belief that making video should be about talent, not technology. With Aframe and the power of cloud computing, users can share, search and collaborate without on-site equipment or full-time staff, and only requiring an internet connection. As the video production industry embraces another transformational shift – to cloud computing and away from costly purchases of on-premises solutions – Aframe’s new funding and expansion into North America positions the company for rapid growth.

“Aframe costs us one-tenth of the purchase of a typical media asset management system, and lets our project teams easily access and create content from anywhere and everywhere in the world – something typical MAM systems can’t do,“ said Unmesh Khadlikar, head of information technology at Veria Living, a leading media company devoted to showcasing wellness programming such as “The Incurables” and “Rock Your Yoga” in the United States and beyond. Veria’s team has uploaded over 600 hours of video to Aframe in the past several months, using it to make promo versions of its shows and share content among collaborators in New York, Singapore and India. “It’s one of the smartest technology decisions we’ve made.”

Aframe is the first private cloud, SaaS video production platform offering that eliminates many of the issues associated with video production, and is as easy to use as Facebook. The system allows for any original, large broadcast-quality video format in any length to be uploaded either over the Internet or at Aframe’s network of drop off points into Aframe’s private cloud storage infrastructure. This includes uncompressed raw footage, not proxies or intermediaries – a former impossibility given typical cloud computing constraints.

“Aframe is fantastic for accessing our video content easily and quickly, wherever we happen to be. Whether we’re sharing pilots, sizzle reels or finished shows with broadcasters I know I can rely on Aframe – it’s a great tool to have,” said Tom Brisley, creative director at Arrow Media, aworld leading content company, working across television, film and other media.

Aframe saves professionals time, stress and money all the way through a production workflow. After ingest, Aframe will transcode video and store it securely for teams to Collaborate with multiple colleagues using document sharing, timeline commenting, video sharing and review and approval tools. Aframe also can handle the process of tagging media or providing users with a timecode tagging tool for their own use, which in turn provides powerful search so teams can find just the moments they’re seeking. The system also allows users to send links to footage hosted on Aframe for non-team members to review and approve.

Operational in the UK since November 2010, Aframe already has over 50 customers including the BBC, MTV, Giant Film & Television, Thumbs Up, Zig Zag Productions, Shine Group and others. It also has a fast-growing community in the US.

“Witness what Salesforce, Dropbox and Huddle have done in deploying cloud computing for their respective sectors. It’s about time that video production puts the promise of the cloud to work and at Aframe that’s our mission,” said David Peto, founder and CEO of Aframe.

“Finally technology has caught up with the creative process so it can enhance the video production workflow, while not forcing creative minds to change the way they work,” Peto continued. “The ease of use and flexibility that individuals have come to expect in their personal lives with social media and Internet speed are now doable in the professional edit suite. We are incredibly excited to expand our reach into North America, and grateful for the support of such esteemed venture capital firms to make it happen.”

The new Aframe US network will debut on April 16 with the start of NAB 2012. Aframe is available as a free personal account, with professional accounts available starting at $99 a month per user, or an enterprise account at $249 a month per user. Aframe will showcase its solution at NAB in booth #N 3222 K-L in the Cloud Computing Pavilion.

Luke Hakes of Octopus said: “For a long time now producers have faced a set of challenges and accepted them as being part and parcel of the process of video production. Aframe questioned the status quo. By leveraging developments in software and the cloud, the team has managed to harness and develop its own technology, which can significantly benefit producers by easing or, in some cases, removing these challenges from the production process.”

“The cloud is re-defining how companies go about their business across all sectors and the video production business is particularly ripe for this change. Now, with Aframe, it is beginning to happen. We are delighted to add Aframe to our portfolio of cloud based software companies,” said Mark Farmer, partner at Eden Ventures.

The Series A round brings the total investment in the company to $10 million, including previous seed and angel investments from former executives at Endemol, Vodaphone and AMV BBDO, among others. Aframe is actively hiring in Boston and in the process of confirming its local office location. The new funds for Aframe also will be used to expand sales, partner programs and marketing worldwide, and to add additional hires to the engineering and development team in the United Kingdom.