EatLime, a personal video-sharing startup, is moving at warp speed. In November its two young founders, then operating a general file-sharing site in Toronto called YouSwap, visited the Bay Area. In January, they moved to Sunnyvale. In April, they launched their current site, honing in on personal video sharing. Earlier this month, they closed an undisclosed amount of funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Amidzad Partners, and angels including Rajeev Motwani. Now they’re in the process of hiring their first employees. “Things suddenly started working out for us,” co-founder Mohammad Al Adham told NewTeeVee today.
EatLime’s innovation vs. the many other video-sharing options is that it allows people to watch video before it’s finished uploading. That eliminates the waiting period every other video service puts you through while they scurry away with your file, process it, and then alert you that it’s up.
When I tried the service this morning with a 30MB movie, within about a minute I had a page with a themed video player and links to the URL of my video and embed code. I was able to play about 12 seconds before the video stalled, but it quickly restarted — only to stall, and then restart again. Honestly I’d probably be content to just wait till my video is fully up and workable, but it is nice to be able to have something to watch. Overall, the upload-to-play time was rather quick. I didn’t have to register to do any of this and I was never shown any ads.
The company sees a few options for business models, said Al Adham, and will make a decision based on adoption. Right now it’s pursuing a consumer-facing private video-sharing model, competing with entrants like Motionbox and Vimeo. However videos don’t have password protection yet, so for now they are not so much “private” as restricted to people who have been sent or figured out the URL. Uploaders can choose to share the URLs of their videos only with people they choose, and EatLime doesn’t provide search or browsing.
Another option would be to power uploads for other niche web sites — that was one of VideoEgg’s original plans, which it has since abandoned — and eventually compete with the many players in the white-label video space. Al Adham said EatLime is currently negotiating two such deals.
But for now, Al Adham thinks there’s user demand for private video sharing, considering visitors watched some 5 million videos dating back to the YouSwap general file-sharing days (indeed, that’s exactly why EatLime focused on video). He warned that the service is in beta, so it may have hiccups, but said it’s more reliable than it was even earlier this month, when Download Squad reported problems.