KnockaTV

ICQ Founders Start KnockaTV

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We just heard about a new Israeli video/TV startup called KnockaTV, which has the tagline “The People Have Taken Over.”

KnockaTV is self described as:

Knocka.TV… the latest from the inventors of ICQ, the web’s first Instant Messenger (www.icq.com). Building on our success with bringing people together on the web, “We’ve created a new form of Television!”. It’s social and real. It’s hyper-interactive and creative. Best of all, it’s democratic. Knocka lets the People decide what’s on TV, playing only original videos from the best web video producers in a professional TV broadcasting style.

They are also looking for original content producers to submit content to the service. Beyond that there isn’t much information yet. The site has not yet entered private beta, but it does show a constant stream of quick video clips on the landing page. Some of those clips show a counter for total number of current viewers; others contain a thumbs up or thumbs down icon, suggesting viewers will vote on the content, possibly skipping stuff they don’t like (as Pandora does when playing songs). This is all speculation, though. I haven’t yet spoken to the company.

The founders of instant messaging service ICQ are behind the company. ICQ was created by Yair Goldfinger, Arik Vardi, Sefi Vigiser and Amnon Amir in 1996 (it’s not clear if all of those individuals are involved in KnockaTV) and its parent company was acquired by AOL for $408 million in 1998. Yotam Eshel’s LinkedIn profile lists him as the product manager for the company.

Alarm Clock says they raised $1 million in capital in June 2007. Evergreen Venture Partners, an Israeli firm, was named as an investor. Evergreen is also behind Aniboom, a user-generated cartoon site that launched in late 2006.

Whatever KnockaTV is, it looks like a hell of a lot of fun. Thanks for the tip, Orli.

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