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Playbook Raises $18 Million to Fix File Management for Designers


Playbook Raises $18 Million to Fix File Management for Designers

In 2020, Jessica Ko, CEO of Playbook, founded the company to solve the problem where her design team at Google and Opendoor was spending 90% of their time digging around Dropbox, looking for assets. The value proposition for Playbook was to a build a new kind of cloud storage that serves as an alternative to Dropbox and Google Drive for designers. 

In Ko's own words, the problem with current cloud storages is that, “Traditional cloud storage companies failed brand design teams and freelancers — sharing is confusing and people get lost in nested folders. In my previous jobs, designers were quitting because file management was giving them so much anxiety,” Ko said. “We spent a lot of money on photo shoots because we couldn’t find things in Dropbox or Google Drive, or we would have to recreate designs from scratch.”

In 2020, the company raised $4 Million when it came out of stealth at a $20 Million valuation, with around a 1,000 active users. Playbook applies image tagging to photos and videos, turning files into an expressive Pinterest-like gallery. It also has tools for collaboration, quick sharing and built-in publishing. For fast lookups, Playbook searches the image contents, extracted text and similar images using its custom machine learning system.

In the latest round, Playbook has raised $18 million in a Series A funding and has grown to more than 50,000 users. The new rounds will fund new talent hiring and to iterate on its product.

Even though the company has raised a lot of cash, it had yet to figure out what its commercialization strategy is. 

Ko has stated that, “We want to find a way that when our users make money, that’s how we monetize — so our incentives are aligned. There are many ways to make money off of media files.”

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