Friday, 23 March 2012
Working with Acoa, the British online video marketplace selected Halifax to take advantage of the city’s location, infrastructure and impressive pool of talent.Wooshii, an online marketplace for video and animation, announced today it will set up its North American Headquarters and Global Development Centre in Halifax, N.S., to take advantage of the city’s location, infrastructure and pool of talent.
Founded in 2009 in Manchester, U.K., Wooshii allows buyers (such as organizations or corporations) to quickly and cost-effectively find creative content providers to produce rich media, such as video or animation, for their websites. Tapping into the user-friendly Wooshii platform, buyers can post their requirements, receive pitches from an international network of 5,000 creative sources, and select a provider to create the content. Once the work is complete, they can use Wooshii to help market or distribute their content.
The Wooshii office in Halifax will comprise the development team, which will further build out its product, and the agency team, which will work with major clients. The Halifax office will manage the network of account managers in North America and oversee Wooshii’s marketing drive in the U.S. and Canada. It will be overseen by newly appointed Wooshii President Paul Ryan, a veteran of the New Brunswick social media company Radian6. Wooshii is now hiring in Halifax and expects to open the office with five employees and to increase staffing to 12 positions by the end of the year.
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency assisted Wooshii in setting up the office in Halifax. ACOA’s project assistance will enable Wooshii to build a team of expert software developers and appoint a project lead. It will also assist the company in undertaking commercialization activities. The company will be connected to new markets through ACOA’s trade initiatives and take part in mentoring and networking events in the region as well as in its target markets.
“After I was introduced to the Halifax tech community by Permjot Valia, one of our investors, I realized the city would be the perfect place to base our North American operations,’’ said Wooshii CEO Fergus Dyer-Smith. “First, it offered great transport links between our office in the U.K. and major markets in the U.S. and Canada. Second, Halifax’s talent pool and its superb post-secondary institutions convinced us we could staff our office with top-notch personnel. And finally, we received invaluable assistance from James Curry and Martin Braganza from ACOA’s Halifax office in helping us navigate the process of setting up the office here.’’
Wooshii’s relationship with Halifax began two years ago when a few Halifax companies became early adopters of the Wooshii system. “Wooshii helped us tremendously to market our product and we’re thrilled they will soon have an office in Halifax,’’ said Tim Burke, CEO of Halifax-based Tether, which used Wooshii to produce animated content for its website. “They offer a great creative service that will add a lot of value to the local startup community.’’
The company has another Canadian connection as its seed investors were two Albertans, Timo Ewalds, the founder of the social media site Nexopia, and Mike Sikorsky, the co-founder of such startups as Cambrian House and Robots and Pencils Inc.
Wooshii is a platform that connects the creators of rich media, (think video, animation or 3D etc), with buyers looking to utilise this low cost, effective and increasingly relevant forms of marketing. Once a campaign has been created Wooshii also supplies a route through which to broadcast and track these messages.
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