ShareGrid, a marketplace where creatives can share professional equipment and shooting locations, announced $1 million in seed funding Wednesday.
MHS Capital, a San Francisco VC that typically focuses on consumer marketplaces, is the lead investor. Archer Gray, an investment firm based in New York City, also participated in the round.
“We were fortunate to have an oversubscribed seed round with over 12 committed investors,” said CEO Arash Shiva. “In the end, we made the tough decision to select just two. We tried to select the investors that had prior experience growing marketplaces and navigating the media/film industry.”
ShareGrid connects certified creatives and provides insurance for the cameras, drones, and other equipment they share.
“In the film/photo production world, over $50 billion of equipment sits idle with creative individuals and companies,” Shiva told GeekWire. “ShareGrid is the first marketplace to unlock this inventory and make it available to other creatives that currently rent over $10 billion a year.”
Although ShareGrid is headquartered in Seattle, it is currently operating out of New York and Los Angeles — two of the biggest markets for production equipment. The company plans to use this seed round to expand to additional cities and launch “ShareGird Hubs,” a secure meetup place for users to exchange equipment.
ShareGrid will also use the cash infusion to expand beyond its nine employees and hire tech talent in Seattle, Atlanta, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Until now, Shiva and co-founders Marius Ciocirlan and Brent Barbano bootstrapped the business. Shiva and Ciocirlan met when they were working as lead designers on Groupon’s mobile apps and brought on Barbano, a director of photography based in L.A., as a third founder.
ShareGrid has over 12,000 members and has $100 million-worth of gear listed on the site so far, according to Shiva.