TechCrunch Disrupt winner Qwiki is on a roll. The visual search startup raised $8 million earlier this year from a number of well-knowninvestors including early Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. And today, the startup is announcing that it has received $1 million in new funding from Lightbank, the investment fund of Groupon co-founders Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky. This brings the company’s total amount raised to $10.5 million.
What makes Qwiki so compelling is its ability to generate media on the fly that combines text, audio, and animated photos. It presents information in a highly visual way, assembling photos and spoken text from Wikipedia and other sources to create visual guides to millions of topics.
Brad Keywell, Co-Founder of Lightbank, said in a release: Doug and the Qwiki team are solving a real problem with a technically innovative and scalable solution that applies to multiple verticals. We are looking forward to working with them as they accelerate the expansion of their business.
After launching in private alpha last October, Qwiki opened up to the public in January of this year. New features include the ability to post, tweet, email or embed Qwikis, the opportunity to contribute content such as YouTube videos and pictures to Qwikis as well as give feedback on sound quality, and a text-based “Contents” section that includes all the information in a given Qwiki.
In its next version, Qwiki plans on expanding to thousands of other content sources, building an iPad app and eventually releasing a custom publishing platform which will allow publishers to transform their own content into a Qwiki.
Qwiki is an industry leader in automated video production. Most recently, Qwiki released an iPhone app that automatically turns the pictures and videos from a user’s camera roll into brief, beautiful movies to share. The company’s initial product, an iPad application that created video summaries of over 3 million search terms, was downloaded more than 3 million times and named by Apple as the best Search and Reference application of 2011. After integrating this technology in the Bing Search...