Published on April 30, 2021 (about 3 years ago)

Online video is changing and Mux is growing

Jon Dahl
By Jon Dahl4 min readCompany

We raised some money! $100M Series D; Coatue, Accel, A16Z; several other great investors, like Cobalt, Dragoneer, and HubSpot Ventures; etc.

This would have come as a bit of a surprise to me not too long ago. If you would have asked me on January 1 if we would raise money this year, I would have said "no."

We raised $37M from A16Z last summer, and for a venture-backed startup, we’ve been capital efficient. Maybe to a fault, depending on who you ask. We actually still have our entire Series C in the bank at this point, and our 2020 cash burn was quite low. We grew from 38 to 63 people last year, and still accidentally generated cash in the month of December. (That’s...a major faux pas for a venture-backed startup. 🙄)

So: we grew revenue 4x last year, grew our team significantly, and still have a lot of money in the bank. Why raise money again, you might ask?

The answer is simple. We’re still early, and there is so much opportunity. We’re still in the first or second inning of online video.

(That’s a baseball analogy; for all you non-US readers who think that baseball is weird, it means we’re just getting started.)

Link1. The technology

Video has become increasingly important to the world, but it hasn’t gotten any easier, especially when you’re building from scratch. The technology is still brutally hard, especially when you deviate from simple paths and need to think about live video, low latency, security, accessibility, scale, or a dozen other things.

We started Mux to fundamentally change this situation. If you want to build video into your application, you shouldn't have to hire video experts and build your own video platform. But that's kind of the state of the world without Mux.

So Mux Video turns live and on-demand video from a months-long problem into a single API call, and Mux Data gives software teams detailed analytics into their video streaming. But there is a lot more that we can do to help developers build with video, and that's the first reason we're raising money.

Reason 1: we're only 10% of the way to our product vision.

Link2. The market

There is a lot of exciting innovation happening right now in the world of video. We’ve seen dozens (literally) of new billion-dollar categories created around video over the last few years. Think of things like virtual events, video-based fitness, education, live shopping, creator economy platforms, collaborative tools, and more.

In other words, this is an important inflection moment in video. If we're in the second inning of online video, it's an exciting second inning. (Yes, baseball gets exciting occasionally.)

The problem is that our customers tell us that they couldn't have started their businesses without us. For some, we've saved them months of work. For others, we’ve literally made their businesses possible.

Here are some actual quotes from customers over the last few months.

"Mux has been awesome, I really don't think we'd have been able to build our app without you guys."

"Thank you for existing because we'd be screwed without you."

"You guys have been nothing short of amazing to work with, and I love the product."

"Thank you for making it relatively easy to get this to market quickly and with high quality."

"You guys are absolute legends when it comes to customer service."

"Mind blown. Amazing product, so impressed."

Reason 2: our customers are growing, and we want to keep serving them well.

Link3. The company

Scale is relative. We’re now at about 90 people, about 750 paying customers, two excellent products, and solid (growing) revenue. If you’re AWS, our scale looks tiny. If you’re a new startup founder, we might feel big.

The real question is: how much growth do we have ahead of us?

We think the answer is that we're just getting started. Video is not a niche or a fad. It's something that people love, and it's going to grow significantly. If we can execute on our vision, we'll grow 10x before too long, and 100x by the time we reach maturity. But that growth takes work and investment.

Reason 3: we want to democratize video, and that's a big mission.

(If this resonates with you, consider joining our amazing team!)

Written By

Jon Dahl

Co-founder of Zencoder, acquired by Brightcove, where Jon served as VP Technology. Makes better BBQ than code these days.

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