Today, we announced some really big news. Iconik has been acquired by Backlight, a holding company backed by leading growth equity investment firm PSG. Backlight is composed of several SaaS solutions that serve the Media & Entertainment industry. I'll share more about PSG and Backlight in this post, but first, I want to let you know how we got here, why iconik pursued this acquisition, and what iconik users can expect in the future.
The Idea that Launched iconik
In 2010, when my co-founder and I founded our first company, which was acquired in 2021, we were driven by a desire to change the existing media asset management (MAM) market. I knew there had to be a better way to manage media assets, and my team was determined to create it.
We saw huge potential for a solution that could easily respond to the evolving market needs in a highly scalable way. The demand for video content was increasing and more businesses outside of the media and entertainment industry needed new ways to innovate with their media to reach their audiences. Our vision was to create a solution that would help them with their storytelling. This innovation journey led us to launch iconik in 2018.
We identified and bet on emerging trends early on before most of the market noticed. We built iconik to complement the trends of businesses transitioning to cloud and hybrid cloud structures, the rapid generation of global data, video content demand, and remote work. Within a year of launching, we saw hundreds of video professionals clapping and cheering during a live, iconik demo. It was exactly what they had been asking for. Iconik was on to something.
This is the Time to Accelerate
I continue to believe strongly in bootstrapped companies, and I take pride in having built two companies that were bootstrapped all the way to acquisition. However, an important lesson we learned from the first journey is that there is always an optimal point in time to inject capital in order to accelerate growth by providing the resources needed to expand operations and enter new markets. A strategic infusion of capital like this can also help businesses to develop new products and improve existing ones for better adoption. The challenge is of course finding that optimal point in time. For us, that point was after we had proven product-market fit, and confirmed a massive total addressable market for iconik. We had proven that we were right in our assumptions that the world needed a new way of managing its media for storytelling, and we had built that solution.
At this point in time, we had been contacted by numerous venture capital (VC) firms, and while I have great respect for people behind VC firms, who are most often very experienced and intelligent, I don't necessarily always agree with their strategies. The dynamics of VC investments didn't fit iconik and the "people first" company culture we wanted to maintain. In fact, we passed up a few VC opportunities in the interest of our team.
As serendipity would have it, PSG reached out to us during a time when we were speculating about the different paths iconik could take.
PSG and Backlight
PSG stood out to us because it is a growth investor, which means they invest primarily in high-growth companies. It shares a similar entrepreneurial mindset with our own team, which is why they invest in people, products, and markets. A part of PSG's solution is providing businesses like ours with an underlying platform of services to scale operations. Backlight is a PSG-backed holding company with a portfolio of award-winning software business units in video content ideation, production, post production, distribution and analysis. After thorough research and consideration from both sides, we share the belief that iconik has great potential to scale and reach new markets with Backlight’s support.
We are very proud to be one of five, fast-growing media technology brands within Backlight. Our sister companies include ftrack, Celtx, Wildmoka and Zype. We all share a common mission of empowering content owners and producers to tap into the power of storytelling, and together we will advance this under the Backlight banner.
Iconik Users Will Win
Iconik users will soon see that Backlight's support of iconik means greater support and responsiveness and more features packed into every update. We have already taken a huge step towards this by investing heavily in expanding iconik's teams for development, customer success, and sales and marketing.
At the end of the day, people are what matter most to us, so the things that our customers, partners, and team love about iconik will not change. Backlight believes that the people and values that got iconik to this point will carry us forward. All the iconik founders and key leaders will still be here to direct iconik as it grows. We will continue to have a "people-first" culture that is obsessed with customer satisfaction and maintaining close relationships with iconik channel partners.
I am grateful to all of the iconik customers who have helped make our company a success. You can be confident that the iconik team will continue to thrive and innovate as a part of Backlight. We're thinking bigger and working faster than ever before. I can't wait to reveal the incredible things that are in store for iconik.