Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Chill Takes $8M for Social Video Discovery

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and William Morris Endeavor have led an $8 million round for social video discovery site Chill.

Chill, which is integrated with Facebook and has benefitted from the recent social video boom, has registered more than 18 million users,  with about 10 million of them active so far on a monthly basis, according to AppData.

In fact, users can currently only sign into Chill using Facebook, and it’s hard to do anything on the site without sharing the activity back to Facebook.

The intent is to help users find something to watch by seeing what their friends are watching. Co-founder Brian Norgard describes this as a shift away from today’s somewhat random process of “video scavenging” towards a more easy flow of videos finding their way to users.

The launch of Chill was well timed, as it saw quick growth after coming out this January.

At this point, Chill is only on the Web, with no mobile presence or distribution deals through TVs and other devices. That’s compared to competitors like Showyou, which started as an iPad experience.

Another challenge in the video space is the dominance of YouTube. YouTube/Google accounted for 48 percent of all video streams in May 2012 in the U.S., according to comScore. So just imagine what would happen if YouTube released its own Facebook open graph social video discovery app.

Chi-Hua Chien led the round for Kleiner Perkins, and other investors included Atlas Venture , Lowercase Capital, Troy Carter, 500 Startups, Science Media, CrunchFund and Redpoint Ventures.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work