BetaKit covered Nashville-based startup Streamweaver in September 2012 when it launched its multi-angle iPhone video app, letting users film the same event from multiple angles and share as one clip. Today the company announced that it has closed $1.3 million in Series A funding, led by Facebook’s former Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly, former Excite@Home Chief Marketing Officer Byron Smith, Tennessee’s INCITE Co-Investment Fund, with participation from existing investors Tennessee Community Ventures and Mountain Group Capital (where Smith is a partner). Kelly will also be joining the company’s board of directors.
We’ve covered several apps in the social video space, from “Instagram for video” apps like Viddy, Keek, and Socialcam, to companies going beyond just filming a video clip, like video chat app Spreecast and video highlight reel app Givit. Streamweaver is taking yet another new spin on the mobile video trend, and COO Jay Hake said that since last fall’s launch, the team has released five updates and is currently gearing up to release version 2.0, though no date is set yet.
Hake said the new funding will be used for product development and marketing, adding that based on feedback after the initial launch they have a list of enhancements they want to make to the app. In terms of why they decided to work with Kelly in addition to their existing investors, it came down to his background and interest in the social video space. “Chris Kelly brings a wealth of knowledge from his Facebook days, and a deep understanding of privacy and privacy concerns for the internet,” Hake added. “Chris also has a pretty strong interest in mobile video in general…he’s been very interested in seeing the expansion of mobile video and what people are doing with it.”
The company is trying to capitalize on what Kelly calls the next category in mobile: social video. But rather than make sharing videos the focal point, the app makes video creation social. The app lets several people film the same event, from parties to concerts, each adding their own one-minute clip. After the videos are recorded they’re combined into one split-screen video on the Streamweaver website, and users can then share the clips on their social networks.
“The first version of social video apps that we saw really focused on the social component of it, really focused on the sharing aspect after the video was created,” Hake said. “Where I think we’re going to continue to see innovation and where we’re excited to participate is really making the creation process social as well, and I do think that’s going to be a strong area in the year to come and beyond.”
Ultimately Hake said the company’s goal is to “connect perspectives,” and they will likely release a suite of products aimed at fulfilling that goal, of which the Streamweaver app is the first. While many mobile video apps gained traction in 2012, none of them built up the user base or popularity of a Pinterest or Instagram. Whether Streamweaver can be the one to make waves in 2013 remains to be seen, but this funding should help get the app in more iPhone users’ hands.