Cloud video editing startup Magisto is coming to market with a new service that will take raw video files and make them worth sharing with friends and posting on Facebook, with no manual editing involved. The company is also announcing a $5.5 million Series B round of financing led by Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures, along with original investor Magma Venture Partners.
Magisto works like this: Once a user has signed in with Facebook Connect, he or she can upload a single video or multiple videos, which the site analyzes and cuts and edits into more palatable — and interesting — videos. Users can then share those videos on social networks like Facebook or Twitter or email links to friends.
According to Magisto co-founder and CEO Oren Boiman, the reason most of us don’t make use of all the videos we’ve shot is due to the incredibly time-consuming manual process that comes with picking, arranging and editing clips together. The goal of Magisto is to automate that process, letting users take the great quantity of raw video that they’ve shot over the years and painlessly pretty it up, without having to actually crack open iMovie or some other video editing program.
In a demo, the system worked well enough: Boiman demonstrated how a selection of three or four family videos, each several minutes, would have selections automatically stitched together and a soundtrack added, all with little manual input, other than uploading source files to the site. Once created, the videos live on the Magisto site, but they can be embedded on Facebook or a user’s personal website. For an example, check out the video below:
Like Animoto, Magisto hopes to build a freemium business model, in which users can create videos for free. But premium features like HD or unbranded videos, or the ability to download videos created with the Magisto editor, would be paid for in micropayments. The startup also expects to roll out mobile apps to enable users to upload videos directly from their phones in the future.
In the meantime, Magisto has its Horizons Ventures funding to finance operations. The company, which has 10 employees, is based in Israel, but it is looking to hire some employees in the U.S.