Peter Kafka

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Vuclip Looks Outside the U.S. for Mobile Video Watchers and Finds a Lot of Them

YouTube is the king of Web video, and that dominance extends to phones, too: The site now generates a billion views a day.

But, just like video on the PC, you can still make a go of it in mobile video if you’re willing to play in areas that Google doesn’t focus on. Ask Vuclip, which is building out a business by focusing on a specific niche: Video viewers outside the U.S., who are often watching clips on relatively crude phones.

You can watch Vuclip’s videos in the U.S., via iPhone and Android apps. But CEO Nickhil Jakatdar says he built the company with the rest of the world in mind, particularly “emerging markets” where mobile customers often use feature phones on relatively slow networks.

Vuclip’s pitch to those users: We’ll give you videos that are tailored for people in your region of the world, delivered in formats that make sense for your devices and carriers.

Jakatdar says the company now has 45 million monthly users, who are usually watching free, ad-supported videos. In some markets, like India, users also have the ability to pay a small fee to watch a “premium” clip, like a soccer goal of the day from England’s Premier League.

Jakatdar founded Vuclip five years ago, along with a slew of other people who flooded the market in the wake of the YouTube-Google deal. But most of those guys are gone, and he’s still there.

Jakatdar says he’s on pace to generate $10 million in revenue in the next 12 months, and he’s just raised a $13 million round led by Singtel, the Singapore-based telco, to keep going. Investors who had previously chipped in $24 million, including NEA and Jafco Ventures, also re-upped.

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