Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Magisto Lands $13 Million Investment for Polished Home Movies on Your Phone

magisto-web-siteAll those videos that we shoot with our iPhones and Android devices and upload to YouTube and Facebook are great, but they’re pretty raw. Editing them and making them look a little more polished — indeed, telling something of a story — still takes time and attention to editing, which more often than not means uploading the video first to a computer and then mucking around with cuts and transitions in the video-editing platform of your choice.

An Israeli startup called Magisto is aiming to change that with a video platform that automates the process of editing and sharing home videos. From various clips stored on your phone, the service uses artificial intelligence to pick the best bits of video, stitch them together and set the whole thing to music. The company calls it “video storytelling,” and it claims some 13 million customers.

Today, Magisto said it had landed a $13 million strategic investment from Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of the wireless chip company, and SanDisk Ventures, the flash-memory manufacturer. Existing investors Magma Venture Partners and Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures also participated.

The funding comes as the company has done a major revamp of its website, where customers share their videos. It’s also something of a confidence vote in the platform from two big wireless-component suppliers. Qualcomm chips show up in more than half of the world’s smartphones, according to recent data from research firm Strategy Analytics. SanDisk, known best for its flash-memory cards used in digital cameras, is a big supplier of flash chips for use in phones, and has its roots in Israel.

(Image is a grab from the Magisto website.)


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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