Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Video Startup FlixMaster Lands Funding From Golden Seeds

flixmaster_logo_02-featureWe tend to think of video on the Web as a fairly linear thing. When a video catches your attention, you may choose to watch it, you may not, or you may watch part of it before your Web-shortened attention span gives out and you’re ready to move on to the next thing.

A startup in Colorado called FlixMaster has been challenging that notion with a technology that allows companies to create videos that are more complex and viewer-directed. The company has an API and a cloud-based video editor that can be used to stitch together videos that fork in different directions according to choices the viewer makes.

It’s an interesting new way to keep people watching videos for a little longer, and the longer you keep those eyeballs, the more engaged they get with whatever message you’re trying to convey, whether it’s to sell something or to get them to tune in to something.

FlixMaster is still a relatively small company, but it is punching above its weight in the clients it’s landing. HBO has used its platform to create an interactive video for its new Cinemax show, “Banshee.” And before that USA Networks used it to promote “Covert Affairs.”

Today, FlixMaster says it has landed a new round of funding, its second. The round is $1.125 million, and comes from Golden Seeds, a New York-based investment firm that specializes in early-stage investments in companies run by women.

While media companies present an obvious base of potential customers, enterprises are taking to it in a surprising way. CEO Erika Trautman told me that one company — she declined to name it — uses FlixMaster’s technology to produce training videos: Completing one level and passing a test at the end unlocks the next level, and so on. The investment, she said, would help expand sales and marketing efforts targeting enterprise customers.

Trautman also said that FlixMaster is launching some industry-specific modules for editing videos designed for online retailing, corporate customer service and media markets.

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google