Veeker, a San Francisco-based stealth mode company is working on a mobile video sharing offering that combines two of the hottest Silicon Valley start-up themes: user generated video and wireless. The company has just started showing off its alpha offering to potential investors.
A dinner companion tipped us off about the company, “which focuses on mobile and Internet videos, based around social interactions.” I phoned up the co-founder Marcus Yoder, (you know a company is small when the founder answers the corporate line) and he refered me to Veeker’s chief marketing officer Rodger Raderman.
Rodger says the 15-person San Francisco-based company is “creating a mobile and Internet-based experience surrounding the behavior patterns that will emerge as mobile video cameras become ubiquitous.” That’s a lot of buzz words in one sentence, but it is also indicative of the current thinking in Silicon Valley.
Investors have already stuffed online video sites with cash, and are now turning their attention to mobile video. A truly mobile YouTube – with little or no copyright hassles can be alluring to the VC community. Today IDC released a report that says 24 million US mobile users will pay for video/TV over mobile by 2010.
Veeker didn’t give me a chance to check out the service, but it sounds similar to what French vPod.tv is building for 3G networks. VPod.tv raised $5.1 million last May. Some Internet-based user-generated video sites are starting to eye mobile given cell phones with video cameras are starting to become common. YouTube already enables users to upload video with camera phones, and it would be natural to start building a better mobile access portion. Photobucket, which concentrates on photos and recently expanded into video hosting, is working hard on mobile.
The hard part is that the mobile component for user-generated videos is tricky to do and expensive to do well. I surveyed several user-generated Internet video sites over the past few weeks and most like Blip.tv and Google Video are staying away from investing in mobile for now.
Maybe Veeker will have something that will wipe out the competition, but the service will have to be pretty compelling. Rodger says Veeker’s engineers come from MobiTV, Digital Chocolate, Hands-On-Mobile, Amp’d and Kodak Mobile, and that the company is both building and buying technology that ranges from mobile video upload and download, to mobile presence, to mobile/online networking and collaboration.
PS: If you know of any startups pushing mobile social networks around video, add your list below!