Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Viddy Scores $6M for Social Mobile Video

The category of social mobile video start-ups is going to stick around for a while, if only because it seems to keep attracting investment dollars.

But seriously, Viddy — which makes an iOS app that has attracted celebrity users like Snoop Dogg and Linkin Park, and limits video clips to 15 seconds — has now raised a $6 million Series A round led by Battery Ventures and including Greycroft Ventures and Qualcomm.

Viddy CEO Brett O’Brien says his company is stronger than the competition, for a few reasons: First, Viddy’s in-app editing effects — which include 99-cent premium promotions for content from partners like the Muppets and Linkin Park — help make compelling, shareable content.

Second, the Venice, Calif.-based company is trying more of a public Twitter-like approach than a private social network, so the star users it recruits can bring in their fans.

And third, Viddy seems to have already built a pretty significant audience — with a reported 40 million video views in January.

Some of Viddy’s recently funded competitors included Mobli (where Leonardo DiCaprio is an investor), Socialcam and Klip. Also, though mobile social apps seem to be doing better than ever before, this isn’t a new category; older mobile video start-ups included and Qik (bought by Skype).

Viddy, which has 10 employees, also took investment from Bessemer Ventures, Sky Dayton, Jarl Mohn and Christina Brodbeck, and is advised by Biz Stone.

Here’s a Viddy shout-out from Snoop Dogg, who is rocking a great Angry Birds hat:

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik