Viddy Attracts VCs With Instagram-for-Video App

ViddyFeature

Updated: Viddy, an iPhone app for editing and sharing mobile videos, is set to close on $1.5 million in first round financing from a group of investors that includes Battery Ventures, Bessemer Ventures, and Qualcomm, according to CEO Co-founder Brett O’Brien.

Viddy’s iPhone app has grown like wildfire since its soft launch last week, averaging between 12,000 and 15,000 downloads a day. For reference, photo editing and sharing startup Instagram reportedly averaged 16,000 new users per day in its first week. The Venice, Calif.-based startup bootstrapped its launch, and its growth so far has been propelled by word-of-mouth marketing alone, O’Brien said.

Essentially, Viddy does for video what Instagram does for photos. Viddy users can quickly turn 15-second raw mobile videos into cinematic-looking shorts by using the app’s production packages, which make it easy to add fancy features such as visual effects, graphics, color correction and audio. Viddy users can then share the final product through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Viddy’s appeal to investors is easy to see, since making user-friendly video editing software is no easy feat. Right away, the company struck me as an obvious acquisition target for both Apple and Adobe, two companies that have paved the way to making video editing more accessible to the mainstream. Anyone who’s toyed around with professional editing software like Apple’s Final Cut or Adobe Premiere knows how complicated it can be to turn raw video into something truly watchable. Apple’s consumer product iMovie has made the process easier, but it’s still far from being a no-brainer to use. If Viddy’s mobile focus and one-click, post-production packages can make video editing truly accessible to the average consumer, the company has something very valuable on its hands.

Viddy is currently available only on the iPhone, but the company tells me compatibility with the iPad and the Android OS is in the pipeline, along with the ability to share on more platforms such as Tumblr and Foursquare. Update: Viddy was co-founded by Brett O’Brien and JJ Aguhob. O’Brien and Aguhob have worked together before, most notably on the executive team of Xdrive, the online storage company acquired by AOL for $30 million in 2005.

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