People love their GoPros. In 2013 alone, the company sold nearly 4 million of its durable, portable video cameras. And those cameras have been used to capture millions upon millions of videos, including everything from drones to action sports.
There’s just one problem: Most people don’t have the patience to sort through all the footage to find and share all the interesting moments they shot while skiing or surfing or skateboarding or ballooning.
Over all the videos shot, only about 20,000 will get downloaded via GoPro’s own software (though admittedly, people can use other tools), and only about 6,000 videos will make it to YouTube each day. The rest of that video gets stuck either on the device or stored away on a hard drive somewhere.
But there’s a new startup, called BrightSky Labs, that wants to liberate the videos that people shoot with their GoPros, and make it easier to find and share on all your favorite social networks.
The company is in the early stages of building a mobile app that connects directly to a GoPro via Wi-Fi and allows users to scan the video they’re shooting (or just shot), as well as all other videos that are stored on the camera. From the mobile interface, viewers can look through video for interesting snippets, quickly crop those moments, and share them with friends and followers.
The app isn’t designed for post-processing or video editing. There are plenty of other tools for those looking to edit together their clips into awesome best-of videos that can be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo.
“The whole point is to reduce the friction of sharing,” according to co-founder Ian McCarthy. That means quickly identifying clips to share and posting them to social networks like Facebook or Twitter, as well as being able to share via WhatsApp.
The app works by pinpointing moments that would be interesting to the viewers, and over time it is designed to better learn what things to look for for each individual user. It also has worked to simplify the process of clipping by taking advantage of both the X-axis, for setting the start and end points of a video, and the Y-axis, which is used to lengthen or shorten clips.
These clips are designed to be snackable, so they are designed to be under 30 seconds. That also increases the speed with which they can be shared.
For now, BrightSky Labs has no plans to build its own social network, à la Instagram or Vine, but plans to simply be a “pass-through” tool for uploading to other networks. “We’re not letting what we want the user to do to get in the way of what the user wants to do,” McCarthy says.
BrightSky Labs was founded by a trio of folks with a mix of hardcore expertise in wearable technology, along with experience building and using video production tools. The team is made up of CEO/CTO Sean White, COO & Head of Product McCarthy, and head of user experience and design Ann-Caryn Cleveland.
Before founding BrightSky Labs, White was an entrepreneur in residence at Greylock Partners. Prior to that he was Head of the Interaction Ecologies Group at Nokia, which was focused on wearable computing and Internet-of-things technologies.
He’s joined by McCarthy, who served as Director of Product Development for Sony Pictures and VP of Product Marketing at Orb Networks before turning up as Principal Product Manager at LinkedIn. Cleveland, meanwhile, worked with McCarthy as Media Designer at Sony Pictures and later became a Partner at production studio Quiet Little Place Productions.
And it’s funded by a mix of venture capital and angels with experience in the media and video distribution space. The company has raised $1.6 million in seed funding, which includes money from institutional investors that include Greylock Discovery Fund, Foundation Capital, Lux Capital, Streamlined Ventures, and Correlation Ventures.
Angels include MIT Media Lab head Joi Ito, former Sony Pictures co-chair Yair Landau, Chomp founder Ben Keighran, YouPlus founder Shaukat Shamim, Qwiki co-founder Louis Monier, SideCar founder Sunil Paul, Powerset founder Barney Pell, as well as current and former LinkedIn execs such as Mohak Shroff, David Hahn, Arvind Rajan, Ellen Levy, Doug Mandell, Ryan Roslansky, Scott Roberts, Adam Barker, Mrinal Desai.