Rounds secures $3M for "communitainment" platform

Faith Merino · November 2, 2011 · Short URL:

The video chat app lets Facebook users "hang out" while playing games and watching videos

“Communitainment” platform Rounds announced Wednesday that it has raised $3 million in a round of funding led by Verizon Investments, with follow-on funding from Rhodium and help from DFJ’s Tim Draper.  The new capital brings Rounds’ total raised to $5.5 million.

Founded in 2008 as, the company originally partnered with Google Wave before launching on Facebook in 2010.  The platform combines video chat with games and apps to create a “live hang-out” experience for users.  Essentially, users can chat while watching videos, sharing pictures, listening to music, playing games, or playing with silly webcam effects, so that the result is a hang-out experience rather than a direct (and often boring) one-on-one video chat experience.

Users can use the free service with their friends, or they can jump on and meet new people.  The platform currently boasts 3 million users with one million monthly active users, and is adding 500K each month, CEO Dany Fishel tells me.  Some 650,000 Rounds sessions take place each day, with users spending an average of 40 minutes on the application per visit.

“We expect to continue this massive growth in 2012, with the help of the Verizon partnership and the various new and exciting developments which will be announced later on in the year,” said Fishel.

The Tel Aviv-based company plans to use the new funds from this round to expand its platform to other social networks and mobile devices, as well as develop more games and activities.

“Today’s user wants a truly live multimedia experience that spans video calling, social networking, games and other fun applications. Rounds had the vision to build a platform that delivers in all three areas,” said Tim Draper in a statement.

Rounds got some competition from the very platform it relies on when Facebook partnered with Skype to launch Facebook Video Calling over the summer.  Facebook and Rounds are clearly not doing the exact same thing, since Rounds aims for more of a “live game room” feel where people can chat while doing other things, but the competition is nevertheless there, as Facebook’s feature is right there next to the “poke” and “message” options.


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