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Mobile video streaming site proving market leader with latest fundraiser
Qik announced yesterday that it has raised a total of $5.5 million in a recent Series C funding. This latest round, coming over a year after Qik raised $3 million in Series B funding in April 2008, was made possible by investments from Quest Venture Partners, CampVentures, and other individuals.
A Foster City-based startup, Qik (pronounced “quick”) is fighting for a place in the vastly growing market for mobile video streaming. The company currently aims their service at two kinds of people: the first kind want to stream video to friends on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and the second kind just want to capture lots of content without filling up the memory on their limited capacity phones. This second point is really a huge bonus, as Qik automatically saves all streamed videos to a user’s profile page.
Already, Qik is available for a wide variety of phones and service providers.
“We as a society continue to ravenously consume engagement media,” commented the latest addition to Qik’s board of directors, Marcus Ogawa of contributor Quest Venture Partners. “I feel strongly that mobile video is on the cusp of exploding into the mainstream.”
And those feelings are not without foundation.
Just two weeks ago, YouTube announced a 1700% increase in mobile uploads over the past six months. Of that increase, 400% rolled in the week up to the announcement, attributed to the release of the new video-shooting Apple iPhone 3G S.
Interestingly, Apple has yet to approve any video streaming apps for the iPhone. For iPhone users, the only option is to shoot a video and then immediately upload it to YouTube. Supposedly bandwidth is the reason for the restriction on mobile streaming, but I’m not sure about that since Qik claims to support three AT&T phones: the AT&T 8525, the AT&T SMT 5700, and the AT&T Tilt. Though its true that none of these phones utilize the 3G network, I still think that the Apple-YouTube alliance has a lot to do with the current limitations.
Nevertheless, even without iPhone support, Qik seems to be on track for success, as it is the leading service in mobile video streaming. With competition from other streaming sites like Justin.tv and Ustream, Qik will likely be using its recently acquired funds to ensure its hold of the mobile upload market.
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Ustream opens up a new world of possibilities and experiences to broadcasters and viewers alike, which the pre-recorded static video that's predominated the Internet to date just can't provide. Today, people are Ustreaming everything including:
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Qik is a little piece of software that enables you to stream videos directly from your phone to the Web. Use it to stream engaging videos to your friends in Facebook, Twitter, etc. or as your camcorder to capture entertaining and special moments. Qik enables you to share moments of your life with your friends, family and the world - directly from your cell phone!
Keep your world in the know, share a laugh, tell engaging stories. Just point your cell phone and stream video live to your your friends on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, etc. OR use your cell phone like a camcorder and stream hours and hours of video without worrying about storage on your cell phone.
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Justin.tv is building the destination site for broadcasting and watching live video online while chatting with friends. Justin.tv tears down the walls of traditional video and social networking sites by enabling viewers and broadcasters to interact and exchange ideas in real time through chat and live video.
In the past, live broadcasting was only available to large media corporations who were willing to spend millions of dollars. Today, Justin.tv has democratized live video by shrinking all of the functionality of an expensive TV satellite trunk into a simple laptop or desktop computer.
The Justin.tv live video network is powered by Python Media Server - a custom built live streaming video server cluster. The network can support thousands of live broadcasts and over 100,000 simultaneous viewers and is 100% owned and operated by Justin.tv.
The Justin.tv chat system is powered by the JTV Twisted Chat Server - a custom built chat server that implements a wide variety of filtering and moderation techniques and relays well over a million messages a day.
Justin.tv has hundreds of thousands registered users and receives millions of uniques and tens of millions of pageviews per month.