Managing relationships with over 700 publishers around the world, Brave Bison is the social video agency on a mission to expand reach to new audiences worldwide through engaging video content designed specifically for social media. LondonTechWatch learned more about Brave Bison’s operations, growth strategies, and its adaptation to a COVID-19 world in a brief chat with former CEO Kate Burns. Brave Bison (formerly Rightster) was founded in 2011 by Charlie Muirhead and went public on the AIM in Q4 of 2013.
Tell us about the product or service that Brave Bison offers.
Brave Bison is a social video group, specialising in cross-platform video content, connecting global audiences through social media.
Tell us a little about your background and the inspiration behind Brave Bison?
After early success at Alta Vista and DoubleClick, in 2001, I joined Google as Director, UK, Ireland and Benelux – the first Google employee outside the U.S. After Google, I was Vice President & MD Europe of Bebo, the CEO of AOL Europe and was later the European GM at BuzzFeed and a Venture Partner at Hambro Perks VC. In Spring 2019, I became CEO of Brave Bison where I previously held a board position.
Brave Bison was born out of YouTube’s explosive growth and the increased demand for publishers to create online broadcast content. We provide world-class expertise in content management and community growth and now manage over 700 publishers around the world.
What is the business model?
We create, manage, and distribute the world’s most viewed social content across all platforms.
Tell us what building your company in London has been like?
The past year at Brave Bison has been incredibly hard work but has also been the best fun! In every team I’ve led, I’ve built a strong family culture, and Brave Bison is no exception.
Since joining the team, we’ve built a publishing team from the ground up and have grown our Instagram, Snap, and TikTok audience – we went from zero to over 600K followers. We have also won several branded content deals including UNIQLO, SKII, and World Chase Tag. More recently, we acquired an award-winning digital brand The Hook, which we are folding into our network and planning to revive. I’m especially grateful for every member of the Brave Bison team. Everyone gives 1000% in hard work, creativity, and tenacity to each other and to the company.
How has COVID-19 impacted your business?
We have seen views increase across all social media platforms, but brands are hesitant in continuing pre-COVID campaigns. Therefore, there has been an understandable “pause” in the early trajectory of this year as marketers consider how best to connect to their audiences with empathy and authenticity.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
Due to COVID-19, we’ve had to reset some of our milestones. Despite the challenges of lockdown, we are continuing to create and license entertaining content for our brands. This involves producers filming from home and the entire Brave Bison team adjusting to work from home. We, of course, remain committed to building a strong and stable stream of revenue while keeping costs in check. As a public company, we have a responsibility to all our shareholders to do so, and even in these times, we remain laser-focused in achieving our goals.
What does being “Made in London” mean to you and your company?
We are proud to be a company “Made in London”, the capital of creativity and the home of digital innovation. It’s been hugely beneficial for us to have access to the best young creative talent right on our doorstep. We are also proud tenants of the “Ministry Workspace”, a beautiful, fun and functional space that makes it a real joy to come to work – and we can’t wait to do so again, once it’s safe to do so.
While Brave Bison was founded in London and the majority of our team continue to be based here, we also have teams located in London, Singapore and Tokyo, and team members from every corner of the world. We are a diverse bunch and we believe that this gives us an advantage because our varied backgrounds allow us to create, manage and distribute content that is truly fit for a global audience, and we have a deep understanding for what type of content each market prefers to engage with.
What else can be done to promote early-stage entrepreneurship in London?
I believe that more companies, both large and small – including VCs and PEs – should offer graduate internships. These programs are a great way for entrepreneurs to gain insight into the industry and are an important stepping stone in building their own companies.
What is your favourite restaurant in London?
Bone Daddies on Peter St or La Paloma on Rupert St.
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