PLAYE raises pre-seed round, led by Haymarket Media, with Fuel Ventures and 1in100 Ventures.

January 30, 2023
min read

30th January - We are excited to announce the closing of a pre-seed, strategic funding round, led by Haymarket Media. 

Playe is focused on the future of creative work, providing a platform and process for content teams to confidently engage and work with the best creative gig workers around the world. 

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Why now?

The Covid-19 pandemic has played a major role in the rise of the gig economy for creatives. As businesses and organisations have been forced to cut back on expenses and adapt to the challenges of the pandemic, many have turned to gig workers to fill gaps in their workforce. This has created a surge in demand for creative gig workers, who are able to offer their skills on a flexible, project-by-project basis.  

The emerging global market for creative gig work is expected to hit $450bn in 2023, with 5 out of top to 10 most in demand gig skills being of a creative nature. 

The creative industry’s worst kept secret is the already prevalent use of creative gig workers by traditional content creation companies. No longer are these businesses able to have all the creative skills they need on their books as it is simply too expensive and restrictive. Along with facing talent attrition of up to 40% per year (many to gig work), heightened competition and changing demand for skills, these enterprise partners have looked to the gig economy in pursuit of more cost effective and nimble creative supply.

Engaging gig workers is not without its challenges, particularly for larger organisations with global demands. Procurement challenges, complex payments and managing a diverse group of creatives often requires significant internal resources. Playe's platform and process becomes as backbone for the creative process, expanding capabilities, driving efficiency and promoting transparency.

The funding from Haymarket, alongside other investors including Fuel Ventures, 1in100 Ventures and a handful of high profile angels, will be used to accelerate the vision, further develop and expand Playe’s offerings, as well as to support the company's plans for global expansion.

Playe has quickly established itself as a go-to resource for customers such as McKinsey, Mr Yum, Bloomreach and Catawiki, all leveraging the scalable creative capability to keep up with increasing demands for localised content from around the globe.

Haymarket is among those customers, as its largest UK division - Haymarket Business Media - have benefitted from access to creative talent in markets including Germany, Dubai and Singapore via the Playe platform. Today’s investment is a strategic and collaborative partnership, and Haymarket is committed to putting in a spend over the next two years. 

About the Founders

Playe was formed in 2021 by co-founders Jonas Espvall, Mitch Brown and Rob Older. Their combined, extensive knowledge in the content creation industry comes from years of experience, and between them are alumni of Adobe, Google and Salesforce.

Mitch Brown has spent the last decade taking innovative solutions to market, with a focus on solving high value problems in enterprise brands. Working across both ANZ and EMEA, Mitch has been highly successful in various senior commercial roles in both startups and tier 1 big tech. Prior to Playe, he led complex data transformations within Strategic Media Accounts at Adobe, where he was responsible for bringing on over $12M in recurring SaaS business.

Jonas Espvall has worked in tech for the last 13 years, joining Google in 2009. He joined the UK founding team of Wildfire in 2012, which was later acquired by - Google. Since 2014 he’s held a variety of leadership and operational roles. Predominantly within SaaS businesses and more recently Regional Director, Northern Europe at Salesforce. 

Rob Older is a content and production professional who has worked within the online video and tech startup space since 2010. His broad set of skills & expertise include: end-to-end content creation & delivery, project, client and team management, creative planning & strategy, marketing communications and business development. A content creator at heart, he’s passionate about innovation, travel and health & wellness.

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Playe gives your organisation the confidence to work with creative gig workers, so you can focus on your most important work.
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