Today smartphones give us possibilities unexpected only some years ago. Think about new software to work, share information and documents on-the-go or the multiple applications for the home, building, city, etc. made possible by the presence of sensors inside them.
But mobile can also revive new trends which had an unconvincing track record: think about the video landscape, in particular live streaming, which has been made “trendy” by Periscope, the app recently acquired by Twitter (read here) that lets amateurs broadcast live video to the world, notify followers when they start, eliminating the time from capturing the video and uploading it on social networks.
Nothing particularly new given that the webcam offered the same opportunities. But it had a serious limit: it didn’t move! Given this, the connection between mobile and a large social network (Twitter) has revealed the new potential (and privacy risks, of course) to the general public. Have the opportunity to share experiences, either personal or newsworthy, or see the world through others’ eyes, comment on in real-time, open new “teleportation” possibilities.
The trend is hot, players start emerging, and investors have been backing them. Some days later the acquisition of Periscope, Meerkat (formerly known as Yevvo), a San Francisco, CA-based provider of a similar live streaming video app, closed a $12m Series B funding in a round that reportedly valued it at $52m post-money.
In Europe, a service with the same features is provided by Spanish Wouzee, which raised €1m in its first funding round in October 2014. Co-founded by David Segura and Marcial Cuquerella, the Madrid, Spain-based startup has developed an online streaming platform that allows people to broadcast and share live videos, become citizen journalists and create their own tv channels. It is available for both iOS and Android.
During the same 2014, in August, e-commerce giant Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) had acquired Twitch Interactive, Inc., the video platform and community for gamers to broadcast, watch and talk about video games, for $970m. At the beginning of the same year, Ustream, one of the pioneers of consumer streaming video, pivoted to a tool for enterprises to reach customers and employees.
Other concepts are from Los Angeles-based LIVE4, which is advancing an app letting users stream and instantly upload videos from GoPro using the mobile phone; Jerusalem, Israel-based live video messaging developer Glide which recently closed a $20m Series B financing; abd Brooklyn, NY-based Mixify, which provides an interactive livestreaming platform (available for Android and iOS) that connects artists with fans.
New ones will follow soon!