A picture may tell a thousand words, but every digital content provider has a list of complaints about the practicalities of publishing images. From confusing file formats to the different requirements of the end user’s device, the mechanics of integrating static images or video in content can be time-consuming and frustrating, particularly for any publisher trying to work at scale.
Enter Gumlet, launched two years ago to solve exactly this problem. The business has today announced a $1.6 million fund-raising led by Surge, the scale-up program for start-ups run by Sequoia Capital.
Gumlet’s pitch is that it offers a one-stop shop for any developer or publisher seeking to integrate media files such as images, GIFs, videos and animations into their content. Subscribers to its software-as-a-service platform use Gumlet tools to automatically resize and optimize their images and videos for the end user’s device or browser; the software recognizes and identifies a broad range of media file types and then processes them according to the usage needs.
Launched in 2019 by cofounders Aditya Patadia and Divyesh Patel, Gumlet has grown rapidly—at a rate of 25% month-on month since the start of 2020. It now serves more than 6,000 customers across key client segments including online stores, news sites, travel sites and crowdfunding portals. Well-known customers include Colearn, YourStory and Bestseller Group, and the platform is now behind the delivery of more than 4 billion media files every week.
“The aim is to take the pain away of publishing images with a solution that just works,” explains Patadia. “This in turn helps online businesses to provide better user experience, load pages faster, save cloud costs and improve SEO—resulting in tangible business impact.”
Gumlet is particularly proud of the video processing tools it launched earlier this year. While many publishers are keen to embrace video in content, they have real problems doing so effectively. One issue is the practical problem of publishing video in the right format for users, but another headache is the difficulty of tracking its effectiveness, with little in the way of analytics tools that identify what part of video content users are watching and how they respond.
“Video is still at a very early stage of deployment, which means there is plenty of room for us to grow by offering new tools and solutions,” Patadia adds. “There is real value in video for publishers, but they need help to exploit its potential.”
Gumlet’s own market is also expanding quickly. Figures from Data Bridge Market Research suggest the media processing solutions market will be worth as much as $36.6 billion by 2028, which would constitute annual growth of 14% from where we stand today. “As the internet becomes increasingly global and data-hungry, serving images and video in a high-performance, low-latency environment is fundamental for all websites to earn customer trust,” points out Patel. In such a landscape, solutions providers are set to flourish.
Today’s fundraising will ensure Gumlet is in a position to take advantage. Until now, the company has done almost no active marketing, with its rapid growth largely dependent on word-of-mouth recommendations. Surge’s funding will help the business to invest in this area, supporting an acceleration of its growth. The money will also underpin further product development—in particular, Gumlet’s video tools are currently in beta testing, with new functionality still being added, particularly in the area of analytics.
Like many successful businesses, Gumlet is a product of its founders’ own experience and frustrations. Patadia traces its origins to a business he ran as long ago in 2012, maintaining online listing and ticketing services. The business found itself struggling to publish the images it needed, so Patadia built an open source library to support its endeavors—then, spotting other users’ adoption of his ideas, he became increasingly convinced there was a market for a more comprehensive service. Gumlet was the result.
“Publishers are experts in their particular content specialisms, whether that’s media or ecommerce—and they may even have technical skills in those areas,” adds Patadia. “What they’re not experts in is the nuances of publishing images, which is why Gumlet has gained so much traction.”