LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / December 19, 2022 / HUSSLUP, a networked marketplace that connects creative talent in media and entertainment with the companies looking to staff them, has raised a $2.5 million seed round. The round was led by f7 Ventures and Fuel Capital, with participation from Ulu Ventures, Gaingels and 360 Venture Collective.
HUSSLUP is disrupting the antiquated game of telephone that Hollywood uses to source creative talent for film and TV. For the first time, companies can search a large, aggregated pool of qualified candidates with specific criteria and vet them instantly. H Schuster, Founder and CEO of HUSSLUP, commented, "We met our goal to raise from fantastic women-led funds and diverse syndicates, which reinforces HUSSLUP's mission of democratizing access to the entertainment industry. In fact, about 65% of HUSSLUP's current membership self-identifies as diverse in at least one category. With this financing we are strongly positioned to transform Hollywood's old clique with one click."
"We're incredibly excited to see HUSSLUP opening up access and opportunity in Hollywood and helping studios discover and connect with new, diverse talent. Likewise, with 25 million creatives / skilled freelancers in the US changing roles every 3-6 months and relying on old modes of networking to do so, the talent market is ripe for change. I simply can't think of a better team to make that happen than H and Alex," shared Kelly Graziadei, Co-Founder & General Partner of f7 Ventures.
The company previously raised a pre-seed investment from the Comcast NBCU LIFT Labs Accelerator powered by Techstars and strategic angels in entertainment, including Joshua Yguado, Co-Founder and COO of Jam City, and Alon Shtruzman, outgoing CEO of Keshet International.
The platform, currently available in beta, is working with more than 40 companies and professional organizations, including studios like NBCU; international super-indies such as Keshet; boutique management and production companies including Blumhouse, AGBO, and Tyra Banks' Bankable Productions; independent multi-platform entertainment companies like Fuse Media; and non-profits including Women in Film and Outfest.
"We are so excited to partner with HUSSLUP as they bring much needed innovation to Hollywood. As I've seen during my time at TaskRabbit, giving talent novel tools to access an entirely new set of opportunities in their field is what disrupts industries and changes lives," said Leah Solivan, General Partner at Fuel Capital and founder of TaskRabbit.
Over 4,000 creatives, including writers, producers, directors, editors and animators, have signed up to date. And HUSSLUP has already facilitated 15,000 connections, matched diverse candidates with jobs, and launched a series of inclusion initiatives with its partners - including the bi-monthly, in-person "HUSSLUP Table Read Series to Spotlight Emerging Voices," which recently launched with a project from Bankable.
HUSSLUP will use the funds to hire more people on its core team, which is led by Schuster and CTO Alex Maghen. The investment will also be used to add more robust search and reporting features for production partners, increase marketing and scale beyond the beta.
HUSSLUP is a groundbreaking new mobile app for talent discovery in media and entertainment. The venture-backed company's mission is to democratize and diversify access to the industry by connecting creatives all over the world to each other and to the companies that need them. HUSSLUP is transforming Hollywood's old clique with one click.
HUSSLUP comes as demand for creative talent has skyrocketed. Despite the explosion of streaming, gaming and podcasting content, the talent discovery and staffing process in the $2.6 trillion media and entertainment business is totally antiquated. Executives still search for writers, producers, directors and others through personal relationships and rarely get out of their cliques, which makes it challenging for new and diverse talent to break into the industry. With HUSSLUP, companies can efficiently search a large, qualified talent pool with specific criteria and immediately vet candidates.
HUSSLUP completed the 2021 Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs accelerator powered by Techstars and is currently available as an invite-only Beta. The company counts more than 40 major studios and independent production companies as launch partners, including NBCUniversal's film and studio groups, Telemundo, the Russo brothers' AGBO Films, Tyra Banks' Bankable Productions, horror shingle Blumhouse Productions, Don Cheadle's This Radicle Act and more. It has partnered with DEI-focused organizations such as Women in Film (WIF), Outfest and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) among others. For more information, visit husslup.com or follow on Instagram at @husslup.