Catch+Release launches AI-powered searches for user-generated content

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Catch+Release, a startup that allows brands to license creator content, said it has launched AI-powered search that lets users search for user-generated content in natural language queries.

The startup helps companies license creator content for their marketing campaigns. Brands can add links from Instagram, YouTube and TikTok to their collections for potential use, while a new search engine lets them find the right content without needing to jump from platform to platform.

The startup said that marketers often can’t find queries like “kids at birthday party” on Instagram. Instead they have to rely on keywords and hope that creators have tagged the images or videos correctly. The startup uses image recognition to recognize scenes and objects in these media assets.

However, currently the biggest limitation of search engines is that they cannot go out and search the internet for you. Catch+Release usually gives creators a board to license their content and asks them to import their assets and link their social accounts to the platform. After releasing creator onboarding earlier this year, the company has 600 creators on the platform with more than 300,000 items indexed.

In some test searches, we observed that the search engine was able to easily find images related to the query, but videos were hit and miss. For example, “Dog playing in the park” showed us some videos where there were no dogs. The company said it is still improving its identification capabilities.

Catch+Release has raised $31.3 million in funding to date, including an $8 million expansion round announced last month. The company has investors including Accel, Cervin, and Stagwell, HarbourVest Partners, Kevin Durant’s venture firm 35V, and Gainsight CEO Nick Mehta.

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