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Innovative video start-up that is keeping sports fans happy

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maria sharapova advising students

But that’s the situation for London video technology specialist Grabyo, which has been busy keeping the nation entertained.

In normal times, the six-year-old business, backed by ex-Arsenal stars Thierry Henry, Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas, specialises in clipping live news, entertainment and sports video, distributing them on social media and also helping broadcasters, brands and sporting bodies stream events.

When live sport disappeared overnight, the company scrambled to collaborate with clients to create new content for their fanbases and diversify the material it produced.

This has included social media posts alongside ITV’s Euro 96 football reruns, and the celebrity charity video game tennis tournament Stay at Home Slam which starred, among others, Williams, Sharapova and Gigi Hadid.

Gareth Capon, who co-founded the firm with friend Will Neale, said: “We’re used to seeing big trucks outside stadiums to broadcast for TV.

“Our vision was to take all of that hardware and put it into the Cloud so it can be accessed anywhere.

“As soon as broadcasters were locked out of their TV studios the demand for remote TV production went through the roof, requiring Grabyo teams to pedal hard to make this happen.

“The shutdown of the sports industry has been very difficult and a lot of our clients have been under financial pressure which puts a strain on relationships. But it has been an opportunity to innovate.”

Grabyo has offices in London, the US and Singapore, revenues about £7 million and, unusually for a tech start-up, is profitable.

Mr Capon said Grabyo was well prepared for the lockdown because its software is Cloud-based.

He added: “This has been a forced experiment which has not only changed the way things are produced but also the content. There’s been a hunger from fans to see the way players and celebrities are living at home and experiencing lockdown, behind the scenes footage. It’s a long-term trend which Covid has accelerated and it will be here to stay.”

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