How Shenzen's Insta360 is Planning Action Cam Disruption with Recent Funding
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There’s no getting away from the selfie fever, and hence, the growing demand for smartphones with a better selfie camera. Shenzhen-based Insta360 is trying to cash on this craze by introducing 360-degree cameras.
Founded in 2014, camera maker Insta360 has announced a $30 million funding round joined by Everest Capital, MG Holdings and Huajin Capital. The past rounds have included investment from IDG Capital, Suning Holdings Group, Xunlei, and Qiming Venture Partners.
Redefining Action Cam
The funding will accelerate the development of technologies designed to redefine the action camera category, bringing people new and simpler ways to capture their best moments and create stunning films from the footage. It will also go toward expanding local marketing, R&D and after-sales service operations in key global markets.
In 2017, the company entered the action camera market with the launch of the Insta360 ONE series, bringing together the many advantages of 360-degree imaging technology — from “impossible” stabilization to the ability to reframe footage after the fact — in a sleek, intuitive package that’s accessible to anyone. With an Insta360 camera, users can also livestream their experiences directly on to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social platforms. When viewed in a VR headset, the camera experiences can transport people into places and moments they’ve never before imagined.
The success of its action camera line propelled Insta360 to five-times revenue growth in two years and helped it achieve profitability. Its latest action camera, the Insta360 ONE X, launched in October 2018, is quickly becoming its best-selling product to date and topping best 360-degree camera rankings. Insta360 has also been chosen by Apple as the only 360-degree camera brand sold in the Apple Store.
The company also launched a new TradeUp program, offering discounts on the Insta360 ONE X to people who trade in a traditional action camera. The program is designed to educate action camera users on the advantages of 360-degree cameras for adventure sports and other active uses, including when their ultimate goal is to produce traditional “framed” video.
“Insta360 has a rare ability to take cutting-edge imaging tech and put it into products that consumers want to use today. They’re moving faster and innovating more than their competitors, and they’re taking bold new approaches to the defining communication tool of our time: the camera,” says Gavin Li, senior director, Huajin Capital.
The company will also continue to grow its leading line of professional 360-degree cameras for VR filmmakers, and to advance its work with key industry partners, including Google, Oculus and Adobe, to empower more creators to produce and distribute premium VR content.