May 12, 2012
Viddy Financing Success Highlights Competition Among Media Sharing Companies
Mobile video-sharing company Viddy has confirmed that they have received $30 million in financing as the nearly 30-million-strong startup gains traction in the ongoing battle of companies looking to emerge as an alternative to YouTube, various media outlets reported this week.
According to VentureBeat's Jennifer Van Grove, the one-year-old iPhone and (now Facebook Timeline app developer has seen its userbase increase from 10 million to over 27 million in just two weeks, and it is adding registered users at a clip of 500,000 per day.
In addition, Viddy has found success on the monetary end of things, adding millions of dollars from NEA, Goldman Sachs, Khosla Ventures , and Battery Ventures, which CEO and co-founder Brett O´Brien told Van Grove plans to use to hire additional engineers, to expand into international markets, to be more aggressive when it comes to releasing new products, and to spend on scaling growth.
Part of Viddy's increase in popularity is due to the 15-second video clip sharing service's Timeline app, Ryan Lawler of TechCrunch said, quite possibly giving them an edge in what he calls "the race to become the next 'Instrgram for video'." Along with Viddy, Socialcam, Klip, and Mobli are among those competing in order to grab the attention of users looking to film and upload their own personal videos -- as well as larger firms looking to acquire new media-sharing affiliates.
"The race to emulate Instagram in video form is far from over, but having a fair amount of money and some industry backing should help," Lawler said. "Viddy has now raised close to $40 million“¦ [the company] has also attracted an all-star list of celebrity backers, including Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Omniture founder Josh James, Skull Candy chairman Jeff Kearl, Roc Nation, Overbrook Entertainment, ShoeDazzle founder Brian Lee, professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek, soccer star Gerard Pique, and Shakira."
Socialcam has also been attracting some attention, according to Reuters' reporter Gerry Shih. The company has drawn more than 36 million users to date, including a 24-year-old musician named Angeleno Felice Lazae. Shih reported that Lazae attracted "modest success" through YouTube but who has drawn more than 9,000 followers on Socialcam in just one month's time.
"YouTube is so inundated with singers and artists and people trying to become the next big star, it's really difficult to get noticed on there," Lazae told Reuters. "But the reaction I'm getting on Socialcam is amazing. It feels immediate“¦ people are constantly wanting to get stuff no matter where they are. If Socialcam keeps going in the direction where it's easy and accessible on the go, it's definitely a possibility that it'll eat into YouTube."
"Personal video sharing is clearly an enormous opportunity," NEA general partner Pete Sonsini told VentureBeat, adding that Viddy, which they have invested it, "is positioned to be the breakaway leader“¦ Viddy has tremendous momentum and a growing, engaged community generating original content, a major differentiator, and we´re excited to partner with the Viddy team."