8 Comments

Summary:

Live mobile video startup Qik has raised $3 million, as VentureBeat reported earlier this week. The company called us yesterday to explain where it’s going and provide some additional details about the round. The $3 million in Series B founding came from Marc Benioff (Salesforce), Arjun […]

Live mobile video startup Qik has raised $3 million, as VentureBeat reported earlier this week. The company called us yesterday to explain where it’s going and provide some additional details about the round.

The $3 million in Series B founding came from Marc Benioff (Salesforce), Arjun Gupta (Telesoft Partners) and George Garrick (Jingle Networks), and brings the total amount the company has raised to $4 million. Foster City, Calif.-based Qik also dropped its parent company name, Visivo Communications.

We were first to report on Qik last December, shortly after the company opened its private alpha. Since then, Qik has attracted user evangelists such as Robert Scoble, Steve Garfield and Jason Calacanis, but it’s still only open by invitation, with “a few thousand” total users. See some video from the Olympic torch protests in San Francisco (live if you can catch it) embedded above.

Qik streams video from a mobile phone, with a delay of between 2 and 4 seconds, to a web interface. Right now it only works on Nokia smartphones, but the company is working on a Java interface. I asked Qik CEO Ramu Sukara to vouch for Qik’s quality. He claimed that by using the full capacity of mobile devices, by sensing network capacity and using internal memory for intelligent buffering, and by tracking when new streamers join to give a better experience on-demand than live, Qik is delivering better quality than the competition. From a Nokia N95, he said, Qik can deliver 640×480 pixel resolution.

Accessibility will definitely be key for Qik. It’s understandable how on-the-fly video streaming makes sense for someone with a built-in audience, but it’s not clear to me that this could be a mainstream thing. Sukara offered as examples a user getting advice while shopping, or a hospital patient sending video to a relative.

Qik is also trying to maximize distribution possibilities for live and on-demand video watchers by building widgets for blogs and Facebook, enabling alert systems on Twitter and Pownce, as well as tying into other video services like YouTube, Mogulus, Seesmic and Justin.tv.

The single highest number of simultaneous viewers Qik has served was about 10,000, during Steve Jobs’ last Macworld keynote. Viewers don’t have to register to watch video, though users can make their video private.

Qik has 22 employees, about half of them in Russia, and hasn’t yet implemented a business model. Sukara said he expects revenue by the end of this year, but also said he’s committed to always offering a free version.

  1. I can’t wait until iPhones have video capabilities. Sheesh.

    Share
  2. [...] include Mogulus and Kyte. Qik has raised a total of $4M to date. CrunchBase Information Qik Mogulus Kyte Information provided by [...]

    Share
  3. [...] NewTeeVee has confirmed our report that the funding is for Qik and talked with the company about its plans for the money. [...]

    Share
  4. [...] 競合にはMogulusとKyteがいる。 Qikはこれで合計$4M(400万ドル)を調達した。同社は最近Justin.tvとの提携によって、モバイル機能を利用したライフキャスティング[日常生活のライブ中継]サービスの提供を開始した。 CrunchBase Information Qik Mogulus Kyte Information provided by CrunchBase [...]

    Share
  5. [...] Ustream.tv is announcing that it is raising $11.1 million, which is on the heels of Qik’s $3 million round. [...]

    Share
  6. [...] A few words about how Qik works. A simple piece of software installed on a phone with built-in video camera captures the video and sends it to the Qik servers, where it is displayed via a browser. Many people are using Qik to live stream conversations and acting like a television channel of one. That approach has gotten the company enough headlines, which have translated into $4 million in funding. [...]

    Share
  7. greed trust ugly mail america night

    Share
  8. [...] announcement knowing Nokia has invested in Kyte. Qik seems to have many net personalities and other VCs lined up behind it with their wallets. But these things are so fluid and there are so many channels [...]

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post