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NewTeeVee recently came across a stealthy newly funded video startup called Twistage, which aims to sell white-labeled video functionality for any Web site. It plans to officially launch next month.
The company, dually based in San Francisco and New York, provides a customizable video platform, including uploading and transcoding tools, hosting, grid-like content distribution, and a video player. “On the upload site it looks like VideoEgg and on the download side it looks like Veoh,” says Twistage CEO David Wadler.
Up till recently, Twistage’s core asset was the force of Wadler, the rare likable salesman. The team is young, without former startup success under their belts. They’ve changed course multiple times, from a content distribution company, to a video portal, to the current plan. Three of them spent two years developing the product salary-free.
Now, it’s all starting to come together. Just in the last three months, Twistage went live with some of its first customers, brought a little under $1 million in angel funding, added a couple more employees, and moved into an office (the chock-full Looksmart building in SF). The funders include banker and Computer Associates chairman Lewis Ranieri and Jerry Colonna, formerly of Flatiron Partners.
Customers include children’s music company Kidz Bop and independent film site IntelliFilm, and a mobile deal and content syndication company are in queue. And this week, the company changed its name from the thoroughly unsexy Roe River to the made-up-yet-spellable Twistage.
Wadler attributes his company’s recent momentum swing entirely to the sale of YouTube, a turning point that validated both Internet video and the new crop of Web startups. While YouTube’s success may have spoiled plans for direct competitors like Guba, perhaps Twistage can find a new wave in helping bring YouTube-like features to corporate sites.