Once upon a time, say about three or four years ago, there were all sorts of companies trying to help users live stream themselves onto the Internet. There was Livestream and Ustream and Justin.tv and others, promising users quick and painless tools for live online broadcasts — even on mobile.
And then things calmed down a lot, and the mobile live-streaming market stopped being really exciting. But a startup out of Japan wants to change that, and it looks like it’s getting a little bit of traction.
Moi Corporation, which is the company behind Japanese mobile live stream app TwitCasting, just raised $5 million to extend its reach outside of its home market and to grow around the world. The company raised that funding from Indonesia’s Sinar Mas Group leading and Japanese seed investor East Ventures also participating.
TwitCasting actually has two different apps — one for broadcast and one for viewing — and allows both broadcasters and viewers alike to chat with one another. While it was originally built in 2010, the app has been gathering momentum over time: it took two years to reach its first million users, but it has grown to 6.5 million users over the last year or so.
The key to its growth, according to founder and CEO Yosuke Akamatsu, is a live-streaming technology that allows for quick and easy broadcasting, regardless of network connectivity. The stream adjusts for changes in network quality, allowing users to broadcast even when there’s not a ton of bandwidth.
The app also now also allows up to four users to broadcast on mobile or online together. And, of course, it allows users to share their broadcasts on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
Anyway, the company is pretty big in Japan and in Brazil, and it hopes to expand in other parts of the world. That funding should help.