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Bitcast
Location: 144 2nd Street, San Francisco, California, United States United States
Founded in: 2013
Stage: Napkin (idea)
Number of employees: 1-5
Funding history:
- Date: 06/2013, Seed: $20 k (post valuation: undisclosed amount).
Investors: Lynne Bairstow
Short URL: vator.co/bitcast
Followers (142)
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Bitcast

Bitcast is a community-driven marketplace for software development screencasts.
Startup/business
San Francisco, California, United States United States
http://www.bitcast.io
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Company description

Intro

Developers looking to learn the latest programming technologies are forced to scour the web for quality instructional videos and screencasts. Those looking to teach must overcome the tedious hurdles of building a custom website from scratch, attracting an audience, and integrating a complex payment system.

Bitcast brings these two groups together, providing a centralized location for learners to find quality content, and a turnkey solution for teachers looking to find an audience.

Using an extremely friendly interface for teachers and developers alike, Bitcast provides a wide variety of quality user content.

 

Only a few short time after its initial deployment, Bitcast has attracted a network of 2000+ developers and teachers who regularly contribute and partake in new screencasts. As progress within emerging technolgies comes, so too will new content to match the speed of daily innovation.



Team
Business model

Market Opportunity:

When developers want to share their knowledge, they often record screencasts and upload them to their individual sites. This poses a few significant problems:

(1) These resources are now decentralized (making discovery difficult).

(2) If developers want to charge for their hard work, they need to roll their own payment platform – this means they must also set up and pay for private video hosting.

(3) There is no community to review, rate, or comment on each video, making it tough to distinguish quality content.

To solve this, Bitcast will provide a seamless video hosting solution which will allow developers to upload, watch, embed, rate, and sell web development tutorials and screencasts. Bitcast will leverage this video platform to create a community-driven marketplace for students tolearn from the world's best programmers and for developers to sell and distribute tutorials to their followers. We will bring all programmers a video library that not only covers cutting-edge web technologies, but more importantly is organized by followable tags and authors. Bitcast will also boast an effortless video upload process, detailed video analytics, a seamless transactional platform using Stripe Connect, and a github flavored markdown editor for including code snippets and notes. Users will even be able to embed paid videos directly on their own sites.

Creating a Sustainable Marketplace:

Bitcast will take a 30% cut of the purchase price of each video. Developers who reach certain benchmarks (such as a certain number of positive ratings) will receive even higher proportions of each purchase to reward them for their excellent work and incentivize them to continue producing quality content. Bitcast will also offer advertisers a unique opportunity (in-stream for free videos only) to precisely target the same audience of developers that our videos engage. For example, videos covering beginner website development might feature an advertisement from a popular PaaS, as new developers are often not aware of available hosting solutions. More importantly, company pages will allow businesses with developer-friendly APIs, such as Twilio or Stripe to host instructional videos on Bitcast as a way to evangelize their company’s products. In summary, we make 30% on paywalled video content and sell ads on free video content (splitting the ad revenue with the video authors). Because we're an incredibly targeted platform for a very high-value audience (web developers), we expect future opportunities to connect our users to the brands, products, events, and jobs that they care about. Assuming an average purchase price of $5.00 per non-free video, Bitcast would receive a $1.50 commission on each. We estimate that we will acquire 80k users during our first year of operation, each of whom will purchase an average of 2 videos per month. Thus, we can expect our first year’s revenue to total $1.50 * 80k * 2 * 12 months= $2.88MM. We expect video hosting and other costs to be a small 10% of revenue, resulting in a net profit of more than $2.5MM in our first year.

Competitive advantage

Not Just Another Education Technology Startup

Defining a Niche:

In a market that appears to be saturated with companies looking to innovate education, it may seem difficult at first to recognize the clear need, niche, and novelty that Bitcast inherently brings. When it comes to appropriate difficulty level of topics, range of lessons, and developer/teacher-friendliness, however, Bitcast comes to be in a market of its own.

Bitcast in CS Education

Interactive platforms like Codecademy and Codeschool do a really nice job of teaching you the basics. They make web development concepts accessible to novice programmers and cover a few broad topics. The only problem is that once you’ve finished these courses, you are nowhere near ready to begin developing on your own, and laughably far from being able to work professionally. We believe that the only way to truly advance is to watch and learn from others who are better than you. Mastery in web development requires knowledge of an immense amount of different skills, and new languages,libraries, and technologies pop up every day. Companies like Codecademy and Codeschool can't possibly do a thorough job keeping up with the rapidly changing landscape of web development. And this is why we’re crowdsourcing the largest and most comprehensive library of web development topics curated by professional developers from around the world.

Bitcast as an Online Learning Marketplace

Other video marketplaces like Udemy, Skillshare, TutsPlus, and Learnable offer a platform to upload and sell video content. TutsPlus and Learnable have little to no community and lack the functionality for following topics or developers. Skillshare only offers courses, and forces you to wait until the class starts to start learning – if you’ve missed the course then you’re out of luck. Udemy courses are incredibly expensive (averaging over $50), and contain a lot of varied and superfluous content. Most importantly, all services exclude free videos and don’t allow embedding – Bitcast offers the only platform that will allow developers to embed paid and free videos on their own sites and allow them to accept payments from within the video. It is also the only platform specifically tailored to development,with a full-featured markdown editor for code snippets, syntax highlighting, and notes attached to each video.

By Developers, For Developers

Video hosting solutions like Vimeo and Youtube are great for hosting free content, but they weren’t designed with developers in mind. Both of these services lack video notes that play nice with code, and both lack a robust content discovery system targeted at developers. Moreover, the major drawback ofusing these solutions is that you can’t use it for paid content. Neither service acts as a marketplace, allowing you to set prices and collect payments.

Investors
Lynne Bairstow
Managing Partner of MITA (Mita Institute and Tech Accelerator), a venture capital fund and strategic advisory program (accelerator) for early-stage tech companies, based in Punta Mita, Mexico & SFO.