Infographics, video and design platform Visual.ly has announced $8.1 million of Series A fundraising as it prepares to expand its technology and sales team both in the U.S. and abroad.
The site‘s goal is to streamline the process of creating visual data content by pairing designers, researchers and a variety of other professionals with publishers through an automated process. The process provides companies with a cheaper, quicker way to make infographics out of their data, said cofounder and chief content officer Lee Sherman.
“There’s a lot of data out there. Companies are doing a pretty good job of wrangling the data. What they’re falling down on is what I call the ‘last mile problem,'” he said. “What we tried to do is really simplify and automate the creative workflow.”
Visual.ly was started by four veterans that pioneered the visual aspects of Mint.com — Sherman, who was MintLife editor in chief, Stew Langille, director of marketing at Mint who now serves as Visual.ly’s CEO, web developer Adam Breckler, and Tal Siach.
The site was initially conceived as a startup-friendly platform to connect entrepreneurs and designers, but has already attracted a variety of major companies as clients including AOL, Red Bull, Twitter, NBC, Visa and Dell.
“I wasn’t expecting them. I was thinking it would be more about startups that would want these infographics,” Sherman said.
The influx of capital will allow the company to invest in technology while continuing to recruit designers and artists from around the world.
“We have a lot of good ideas about how the technology can be improved. We’ve invested in our product team…who are leading the charge here,” Sherman said. “A big part of what we’re doing is we have this big supply of global talent that people can call on.”