Video startup funding announcements may getting more rare these days, but that’s not stopping people from investing their time in home-grown video startups. Here are three pre-funding video-oriented startups we’ve talked to lately — goChongo, Viddyou, and Ulinkx — with some private beta invite codes for the ones that aren’t open yet.
goChongo: Somewhere between Rent A Coder for entertainment and an extensible contest platform, Seattle-based goChongo went into private beta yesterday. The site helps people commission video, musical, text, and photo projects, offering a bounty to a winner and getting a share of ad revenue along the way. It’s pretty much a blank slate — perhaps too much so.
“The idea here is to align incentives so the quality of the content goes up,” says Shawn Plaster, whose day job is in enterprise software at Accenture. Plaster been working on the project with a small team for about a year, and aims to open it to the public in May.
Viddyou: This little two-person startup want to be the WordPress of vlogging. “People have shoehorned themselves into YouTube,” says Viddyou founder Aaron Wadler, who started a record label while in college and runs his new project on its profits. “The gap is personal videoblogging for everybody, where you don’t need to have an agenda or focus.”
Viddyou aims to fill that gap by focusing on the creator of a video rather than the video itself, Wadler said, with blog-like permalinks, privacy controls, recommended videos based on friends on the site, and uploads via mobile messaging and email.
One problem. Does WordPress want to be the WordPress of vlogging? Well, due to some conflicts of interest (we work in the same office and are funded by the same venture capital firm) we were able to corner Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg to ask what WordPress’ plans for video are. He replied that the site was launching a video upload and hosting feature this week. So stay tuned for that.
Want to check out Viddyou? Go to the registration page and enter the invitation code newteevee. The first 30 get in.
Ulinkx: Apparently having “linkx” in your name signals you’re making a play for video search. The 3-person, self-funded, year-old Ulinkx indexes clips from sits like YouTube, MySpace, and Metacafe so users can search them, bookmark them, and create playlists which can be widgetized for use on personal blogs and websites. As far as we can tell, there’s no special sauce.
This site is open to the public, and currently sees 5,000 to 6,000 unique visitors per day, according to Kumar.