Dazzboard secures $1.5 million to grow its Web-based competitor to iTunes

[Finland] Last year we wrote about dazzboard, the public beta of a browser-based media manager that claims to have all the features of iTunes without locking you down to Apple’s warm but sometimes stiflingly closed world.

The product from Finnish startup Linkotec has now received $1.5 million in seed funding to boost growth and expand globally. The investment round was led by HTT Sixgen (a Finnish, family owned, VC) and was followed by additional funding from another Finnish VC, Veraventure.

As with so many Finnish startups, there is usually an ex-Nokia person hovering around somewhere. In this case it’s former Nokia Ventures head Timo Teimonen is joining the board. It’s also adding Mats Therman, partner at HTT Sixgen, and Tero Salonen, a serial entrepreneur and CEO and co-founder of Dazzboard.

The web-based application currently requires a Windows plugin to work – a Mac-compatible version is (still) in development – and it works best when you’re using the latest Internet Explorer or Firefox browser. Of course, they talk about “vertical vendor-locked services which are limited to one devices only,” aka iTunes.

Dazzboard lets you plug a wide range of mobile devices into a PC and transfer multimedia content like photos, videos and music to the web-based management interface. It will also let you organize files and share them through a variety of social networking services. A ‘Dazz me’ bookmarklet allows you to download content from the Web to the media manager and distribute it to social networks or a mobile device once it’s transferred to your account.

Dazzboard handles a number of devices in “fully supported” mode, and and generic devices are treated as a generic media hub. It’s early days of course and there’s no guarantee Dazzboard will be around as long as Apple iTunes, so I do wonder if people will want to run their entire media library through a startup which may not be around in a couple years.

Dazzboard overview from dazzboard on Vimeo.