Stripes Group and Accel Partners have made a $61 million growth equity investment in Pond5, an online marketplace for video footage and stock media. The fresh funds will be used to fuel global growth, hiring and product development. Artists from around the world use Pond5 to upload video clips and other media, including music, photos and special effects. Those creating media projects, like films, mobile applications and video games, can then buy the royalty-free content for their own use. Pond5's collection currently boasts more than 15 million media clips sourced from 30,000 artists in 127 countries; its 2.7 million videos compose the largest royalty-free video collection online. The company has been cash-flow positive since its founding in 2006 and doubles sales annually.
PitchBook has previously looked at PE firms that 'venture' beyond traditional PE investment forms, but an equally intriguing area of interest is the area of PE investment that most closely resembles VC deals: growth equity (minority) investments. The Pond5 funding above exemplifies growth round characteristics: a small slice of company shares and funds primarily used for growth purposes. In its confluence between B2C and IT, Pond5 also illustrates two industries that capture a sizable share of PE growth investments. As a quick dive into the PitchBook Platform shows, 2014's already seen a combined 183 PE growth investments in IT and B2C companies, out of a total of 433 growth investments. B2B activity is down this year, only logging 107 versus 2013's final tally of 309 and 2012's 345. Energy has captured a big chunk (29%) of the capital invested through growth deals this year. Similarly, financial services has attracted a lot of money relative to its share of deal flow, and also is one of the few industries that hasn't seen a drop in activity thus far this year.
To explore the growth investment data behind this story, click here.