By Riley Kaminer
These days, content is king. And in the royal hierarchy of media – as judged by social media algorithms, at least – video reigns supreme.
The problem: creating high-quality video content takes a significant amount of time, effort, and technical skills.
When Jonas Cleveland was an entrepreneur working on AI-powered robotics, he began to understand this struggle firsthand. Initially, he noticed the value of creating video content as a way to promote and display his work.
“I became really interested in the space of video as a way to explain what my concept is and show what I’m up to,” Cleveland told Refresh Miami. “I remember trying to edit and put together an Instagram story and it took me my entire morning. That’s when I realized it was a problem.”
After a bit of user research, he determined that he was not the only person with this problem. At that point, his inner entrepreneur started kicking in, and he launched what would eventually become Rav.ai: an automated video editing service.
The idea is that Rav.ai can replace a freelance video editor. Users can upload clips to Rav.ai’s web-based app, or record themselves directly using the app. Instead of going back and forth via email with a video expert, Rav.ai users simply insert notes about what they want the video to look like right in the app. They click submit and presto: in less than a day, Rav.ai produces a draft of their edited video. Users can then add or edit comments as needed.
Users pay a monthly subscription to Rav.ai, and in return get four videos a month from the service. Cleveland asserts that this process is significantly quicker and more streamlined than working with a freelance editor, which can take as long as a week per video.
Since the platform launched in August, it has scaled to 100 active users. These users come from a wide range of backgrounds, from marketers and realtors to lawyers and doctors.
What do they all have in common? “These are folks that don’t yet have a large enough business on social media to be able to justify hiring a team, but they want to launch their content marketing strategy.” For them, Rav.ai provides a streamlined, affordable way to expand into video.
Alongside Cleveland are Miami-based co-founders Elnura Amati and Jason Keeton. Overall, the company has a team of five full-time employees plus another 10 contractors. Cleveland landed in Miami from Philadelphia in February 2021, attracted by the quality of life and the relocation of many tech companies.
Rav.ai has been bootstrapped thus far. “Now that our product-market fit has been validated, we are raising funds to be able to bring additional users onto the platform,” Cleveland said.
The startup just completed the EndeavorLAB cohort focused on Black founders. “The best part of Endeavor was making connections with the other founders in the program,” noted Cleveland. “It was really great for me personally as someone who wanted to be more connected to Miami and to our tech community.”
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