Very few companies can claim to have two top-100 apps in the app store; and even fewer have accomplished this as rapidly at this company. Introducing Mammoth Media, the creators of top ranking apps Yarn and Wishbone. The mobile-first company focuses on creating short form interactive content that is sweeping away audiences on a global level. The company takes digital story telling and packages it for a new generation that appreciates shorter form stories and content and is constantly on their phones. Originally incubated within Science, the company consistently tests, evolves, and iterates its content harnessing the power of data to become the premier name in microentertaiment.
LA TechWatch chatted with cofounder and CEO Benoit Vatere about the company’s success and their most recent round of funding.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Series A venture funding of $13M led by Greylock Partners including Science, Inc.
Tell us about your product or service.
Mammoth Media is the only mobile-first company to produce, distribute, acquire audiences and monetize original short-form content across its family of apps. Its collection and utilization of data empowers Mammoth to understand viewer behavior, test different production formats and rapidly scale, allowing Mammoth to quickly create and launch unique content that keeps viewers entertained.
Through my experience in the tech industry, I’ve witnessed firsthand the powerful shift from desktop to mobile. I believed there was an opportunity to create a new “studio lot” that could produce apps that provided unique mobile-first entertainment on a daily basis.
We incubated this company within Science and eventually spun off in March 2017 as Mammoth Media with the idea that true mobile entertainment should be interactive, shareable and provide micro-entertainment.
How is it different?
I saw the opportunity to create a new type of media company, one that brings gaming mechanics to media in a way that had never been done before, and marries it with true ownership of distribution, monetization and audience acquisition.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
Mammoth Media is the studio behind Yarn, the disruptive micro-storytelling platform that presents narrative through click-through text messages (7.5 billion read to date) and Wishbone, the tap-to-vote social networking app (17.6 billion votes thus far). Both apps are consistently ranked in the Top 100 App charts in the United States and have collectively touched more than 30% of United States Generation Z and Millennials every month.
What’s your business model?
We built our company so as not to rely on other distribution avenues such as Facebook. Our company fully controls distribution, monetization and content. To control and own all three of these pillars is essential for long term success.
We create original entertainment apps for the moments of micro-entertainment in daily life, and in doing so, deliver revenue, brand value and data-driven insights to content owners and advertisers.
Furthermore, our collection and utilization of data empowers us to understand viewer behavior, as we’re continually testing different production formats and content to understand what resonates with users. As a result, we’re able to quickly create and launch unique content that keeps viewers entertained. We will continue to launch innovative mobile-first properties in service of our mission.
Why does mobile need its own studio?
Creating quality, engaging content is an art and becomes exponentially more difficult when you have to adapt to new screens and formats. For millennials and Generation Z, mobile devices are the primary screen in which they connect with their world.
To connect with these audiences, it is important for mobile-first content providers to be able to create content that is expressly made for the platform and also in the manner audiences like to consume it — as micro-content lasting 2 to 3 minutes long. Through our platforms we provide consumers a few minutes of fun, multiple times per day, instead of a 30 minute or longer show.
What was the funding process like?
Like any Series A funding process, it was a true roller-coaster but I had the opportunity to do it with people that know this game better than anybody else and we were able to get in front of very talented people.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Prove that “Virality” is just a small piece of mobile media. In order to grow, you need a scalable user acquisition platform and technique. Not everybody up in Silicon Valley understands this.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Our success rate with our current platforms Yarn and Wishbone have demonstrated to investors that Mammoth Media is in a unique position to become the strongest next-gen media companies.
Our investors understand our vision for short-form content across mobile devices because of the generational behavior shift away from large screens to mobile when it comes to entertainment.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We will be debuting new mobile first platforms as well as additional content partnerships with Hollywood creatives and studios.
What advice can you offer companies in Los Angeles that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Embrace Data and think monetization from Day 1. Don’t think small.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Being the first true bridge between Hollywood and Silicon Beach. We will also continue to be #longLA because this city is the optimum place to prosper as a leading company bridging technology and entertainment.