Consumers these days expect high-quality, engaging content from the brands and companies they love. Quill is a digital marketing company that today announced raising $1.5 million to accommodate growing demand for its content.
Quill’s platform connects brands to a global network of writers, editors, and video producers in over 30 languages. Businesses that do not have the resources to reach their audience with tailored, web-optimized content can use Quill to create anything ranging from brief product descriptions to in-depth feature pieces that are “on brand.”
Clients input their objectives, audience, and budget, and Quill will generate an customized content plan. It also audits existing content, reviews competitions, develops new ideas, and creates writing and videos that maintain the clients’ “brand personality” and voice. This can also include graphics and videos. Quill’s technology also aggregates relevant articles and videos and creates a curated news feed that businesses can integrate into their site.
That content is only a good as the audience it reaches, so Quill also automates social publishing, syndicates articles, and connects with other bloggers and publishers to expand the distribution platform.
Cofounder and CEO of Quill Ed Bussey previously founded an online fashion retailer called figleaves.com which sold in 2010 for £11.5 million (about $17.4 million). He then went on to serve as COO of a mobile phone utility and social networking site ZYB that Vodafone acquired in 2008 for €31.5m (about $40.8 million). Bussey began his third startup project in 2011. Formerly called iTrigga, Quill has now grown to include large clients like Shop Direct Group, Aegis, Swiftcover/AXA, and WPP.
Ariadne Capital led this round with participation from individual investors like Shakil Khan of Spotify and Summly, Rupert Ashe, Karen Hanton, Andrew urge, Nick Beare, Peter Read, and Andrew Grahame. The financing will be used to grow its management team in the U.K. and abroad and add to the writer and editor base, and accelerate global expansion. Quill is based in London.
Its Boston-based rival, Skywords, raised $6.7 million May 17. Scripted and oDesk are also competing in the content creation portion of this space, but as Sunil Rajaraman of the Young Entrepreneur’s Council pointed out in a guest post, content marketing is about more than just words. It also also about editorial management, content recommendations engines curation and syndication, and distribution and analytics, and any startup that wants to succeed needs to offer all these services to hook the big clients.