Location-based photo and video discovery platform Tapastreet, which first unveiled its wares at our recent TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, has announced that it’s closed a $500,000 seed round. The funding comes from Kernel Capital through the Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund, and Enterprise Ireland.
Founded in 2012 by ex-Intel engineer Joe Mitchell and ex-Googler Dave Johnson, the Irish startup offers an Android and iOS app that aggregates publicly available photos and videos from various social media, based on location. The idea is that by getting a visual overview of what people are talking about/sharing, users can discover what’s going on around them, while also cutting through the noise, says co-founder and COO Johnson.
“People want real-time information about the places and things that matter to them,” he says. “Social Networks are a great source of real-time information, but are swamped by noise. By consolidating location-based photographs and videos from a range of social networks into a single easy-to-use app Tapastreet cuts through the noise and enables users to see and share what is currently happening at any location worldwide, in real-time.”
News and photo aggregating services, such as Storyful, might be considered potential competitors, though these tend to manually consolidate stories and images into a single curated feed, says Johnson, whereas Tapastreet “provides a user with direct, raw and unfiltered access to real-time images and videos that would never otherwise be seen”. A more direct competitor is Banjo, which offers a social media aggregation service. In contrast, however, Tapastreet focuses solely on images and videos to “reduce the level of noise and provide a more relevant, focused user experience”.
Interestingly, Tapastreet says it has also developed a joint research project with Trinity College Dublin and The Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon (INSA) under the EU’s Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways, Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The product of that research will be fed directly back into the Tapastreet platform.
There’s no word yet on how the startup plans to monetize the free app. All Johnson will say is that the newly announced seed funding will allow Tapastreet to “focus on building out a strong user base while enhancing the technical strengths of the product”.
In other words, scale first and flick the monetization switch later.