Viddy nears 30M users, rakes in $30M from NEA, Goldman Sachs
Mobile video sharing app Viddy has closed a Series B financing round totaling $30 million.
New Enterprise Associates, Goldman Sachs, Khosla Ventures and Battery Ventures led the new round, Viddy CEO and co-founder Brett O'Brien told VentureBeat. The startup wrapped a Series A venture found totaling $6 million in February 2012, led by Battery Ventures; Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z and pop singer Shakira also have invested in the company. O'Brien declined to comment on reports that the latest round pushes Viddy's valuation somewhere between $300 million and $370 million.
Dubbed "Instagram for video" by the blogosphere, the free Viddy app--currently available for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone--enables users to capture brief video clips complete with visual effects, music and related enhancements, then share their efforts across social media platforms including Facebook, YouTube and Tumblr. Consumers may also purchase in-app content bundles from celebrity partners including rapper T-Pain and the Muppets.
VentureBeat reports that Viddy now touts 27 million registered users, up from 10 million only two weeks ago, and O'Brien said the company is now adding 500,000 new users each day. Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported Viddy is signing up a million new users every day.
"The goal here is to build something valuable to a lot of different people," Battery Ventures partner Brian O'Malley told Reuters. "For web video guys like YouTube, [Viddy is] potentially a strategic acquisition. Or the Twitters and Facebooks of the world. It could also be interesting to more content-oriented companies like some of the larger media businesses."
Reuters goes on to report that rival Socialcam has overtaken Viddy in both the number of downloads from Apple's App Store as well as the number of daily Facebook users. Unlike Viddy, which limits clips to 15 seconds each, Socialcam offers unlimited video length and storage; while all Viddy content is user-generated, some Socialcam content is reposted from sites like YouTube. Socialcam has signed on a number of angel investors but has not yet closed a venture capital round.
Photo and video sharing applications like Viddy and Socialcam are now the fastest-growing category in both Apple's App Store and the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play marketplace according to data published earlier this week by analytics firm Flurry. Between October 2011 to March 2012, photo and video apps increased by 89 percent in minutes spent per active user, followed by the music apps category (72 percent), productivity (66 percent), social networking (54 percent) and entertainment (40 percent).
"Over the course of 2011, minutes spent viewing video content online grew from 276 minutes to 472 minutes, or 71 percent. Over the same time period, video apps grew from 63 minutes to 152 minutes, or 141 percent," writes Flurry Vice President of Marketing Peter Farago on the firm's blog. "While mobile app video consumption grew more than online consumption, the gap in usage at the end of 2011 was still meaningful. During 2012, however, is where things get interesting. As online video consumption dropped by 10 percent, mobile app video consumption increased by another 52 percent. By the end of March, consumers were spending 54 percent of amount of time in mobile video apps compared to Google Sites online, 231 minutes in apps versus 425 minutes online."
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