Realtime Media Sharing Service TweetPhoto Raises $2.6 Million Series A

Realtime media sharing platform TweetPhoto this morning announced that it has raised $2.6 million in a Series A financing led by Canaan Partners, with additional investment from Anthem Venture Partners (one of the original backers of Android) and angel investors Tim Kelly (ex-Googler), Frank Asaro, Jack Corrao and Shane Brisbane.

Also investing is Qualcomm, according to TweetPhoto founder & CEO Sean Callahan because most photos are and will continue to be shared via mobile phones.

The startup says it will use the additional capital to bolster its core offering, a platform of open APIs and mobile SDKs for real-time media sharing across the social web, introduce new products and expand its developer relations program.

First launched back in April 2009, TweetPhoto allows users to share and interact with media across multiple social networks through its developer platform.

TweetPhoto users can link their accounts and publish media instantly to Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, and other popular social networks, and the TweetPhoto APIs support features such as photo commenting, favoriting and voting, meta-data filters, geo-tagging, location-based search, friend feeds and customizable widgets.

One year after launching the service, TweetPhoto says it currently serves close to 15 million monthly unique visitors from various social networks, 40 million API requests a day and 250 million images on a monthly basis. A quick glance at Compete suggests that it is trailing competitors like Yfrog and TwitPic, however.

I asked Callahan the obvious question: with all the brouhaha following Twitter’s decision to start filling some holes and purchase iPhone app developer Atebits (maker of Tweetie), isn’t he afraid that Twitter might get into the media sharing field sooner or later either by acquisition (e.g. of rival TwitPic) or by launching a service of its own?

Callahan says that every one of the investors asked that same question, and his answer was always the same: he claims that feature-wise, TweetPhoto beats the competition by a long shot, and that by diversifying where traffic is coming from (as it’s not only a Twitter media sharing service) they migigate the risk of any one social network cutting off the spicket. Callahan adds that TweetPhoto is an agnostic platform for the social web as a whole, with software development kits for a variety of languages and social networks.

This sounds to me exactly what other developers of Twitter applications (such as Seesmic) are saying, but I would really love to hear them repeat those words once Twitter effectively makes some moves.

Callahan, for one, says he has a plan B ready, although he declined to go into detail.