Qik Finds New Investors, Moving to the iPhone

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<img src="http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/qik.png" class="shot"Qik has announced that Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz have joined their growing list of investors, and taken seats on the board of advisors along with previous investors Marc Benioff, George Garrick, Arjun Gupta, Andreessen, and Horowitz.

Qik is a mobile video casting service that sees competition from Kyte, Flixwagon, and Livecast. To get a feel for the services we ran a test here at TechCrunch comparing Qik, Kyte, and Flixwagon, ignoring Livecast because we couldn’t get it to install correctly. In the end we determined that Kyte and Qik were the clear leaders in the space, giving the edge to Kyte for its superior audio quality.

What’s surprising is that Qik has been able to compete with Kyte without significant venture funding. Kyte on the other hand is sitting on nearly $25 million in venture capital. This suggests that Qik has found a relatively cheap way to outsource their bandwidth, whether they are hosting their streaming service in the cloud or using their own servers. It is a prime example of how start-ups can use web 2.0 technology to get off the ground, and start to build once they gain momentum.

Kyte is also backed by Nokia, which raises questions about how hard the company wants to open up options for viewing and recording via other phones, most importantly the iPhone. In fact, Qik has already released an unauthorized version of its software that will allow iPhone video recording on a jail-broken device, and is rumored to be readying a way to view Qik streams on the iPhone.

  • Basil

    This is not enterprise IT. Mobile video casting is a consumer product. This is a good post, but it should be on TechCrunch.

    I read TechCrunchIT for enterprise IT content- there’s so much going on right now and I haven’t heard a peep from you guys about any of it!

  • http://www.aussiescan.com Jeff

    Hey – the link to the comparo goes to your WP login page?

  • Steve Gillmor

    Jeff – Fixed. Thx.


    Corporate use of mobile video casting is accelerating rapidly.

  • http://www.kyte.com Gannon @ Kyte

    Gannon from Kyte here. I wanted to take a moment to respond to a few of your points as they relate to Kyte.

    First off, we do not compete with Qik. Kyte is a global, end-to-end digital media platform, of which live mobile streaming is but one component. While this feature gets lots of attention in the media it represents one of several ways (including pre-produced video uploads, mobile email, mobile record and upload, live webcam, APIs, etc.) our partners produce and distribute branded content. More on our platform here: http://www.kyte.com/platform.

    Although I can’t speak on behalf of Qik re: their biz model, I think they would agree that it is very different from ours. Kyte’s customers are two-fold: media companies looking to produce, distribute and monetize branded content, and community operators looking to provide their users with a mobile and online video experience through deep integration of the Kyte Platform. To be clear, the fact is that we don’t see Qik in deals. It’s as simple as that.

    Check out our partner highlights (http://www.kyte.com/highlights) or blog (http://www.kyte.com/blog/) to see examples of how the Kyte Platform is being used commercially in music, publishing, TV/radio/film, sports, and communities. This may give you a clearer picture of the scope of our commercial use.

    Regarding your comments about Nokia, you have it all wrong. For one thing, we participated in the launch of the Apple App Store with our Kyte Mobile Producer for iPhone app, which was featured for several weeks in the What’s Hot section of iTunes. We don’t have any interest in hacking the iPhone so a very small number of early adopters can experience the novelty of live streaming on the device. It doesn’t make any business sense for us. When Apple supports video so will our iPhone app. Also, the iPhone-optimized Kyte Mobile Web has been available for close to 9 months. Go to m.kyte.tv on your iPhone to see for yourself. Given that our iPhone app is featured on CrunchBase I’m really surprised you missed this.

    For future reference, we’re always happy to address questions you have about our business if you need more info before posting.


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