If you take a lot of smartphone videos, you know they can be a pain to organize. TVibes wants to make that easier by not only letting people store and share videos on its cloud-based platform with friends, but also stream live. Based in Tel Aviv, TVibes has raised $1 million in seed funding from entrepreneur and producer Damian Collier and other private investors, which it plans to spend on enhancing the app’s user experience. TVibes is currently available only on iOS, but an Android release is planned in the next few months.
Founders Gilad Carni and Uri Schneider told TechCrunch in an email that they created TVibes as a “response to what we saw as a broken mobile video experience. Even though the mobile video market is exploding, none of the apps out there are really addressing consumers’ needs, or reflecting the real reason they take mobile video. The apps available are often gimmicky or they are designed for displaying only the perfect, posed or livestreamed version of our lives.”
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For users who usually take videos of private moments they only want to share with close friends and family—like their kids’ parties or inside jokes—TVibes’ privacy settings allows them create different groups, with the idea of letting them use the app for all their videos instead of deciding which social network (Instagram, Facebook, etc) to upload it on. Its unlimited cloud storage also organizes videos by hashtag, location and date into albums and channels to make them easier to find.
In a statement to TechCrunch, investor Collier, whose work includes producing the 2005 movie “War of the Worlds” and its stage musical version, said “I made an investment into TVibes, because the platform solves several widespread problems which I have personally experienced myself, and which I am aware of many others experiencing.” He likes the app’s ability to let users quickly decide which specific groups of people they want to share video with and its cloud backup.
“There’s nothing even close to this out in the market right now, and TVibes have executed on exactly what they set out to build,” he adds.
To use TVibes, you create an account with your Facebook login, then select people to follow or find public videos by channel. For people who don’t want to use their Facebook accounts, TVibes plans to let them log-in with their mobile numbers instead.
TVibes’ storage features face strong competition from services like Dropbox and iCloud, which many people use as their default video backup option, even though they weren’t designed specifically for video. Carni and Schneider say that experience, however, is like “putting your family videos in a huge warehouse, as opposed to storing them lovingly in a special cupboard next to the TV.”
TVibes differentiates by focusing exclusively on videos and making older files easy to find again and watch, instead having to sift through dozens or even hundreds of file names. For people who also use TVibes’ camera to shoot videos, the experience is even more streamlined. It also helps TVibes stand out from media storage service StreamNation, which is designed for photos and music in addition to videos.
On the live broadcasting side, TVibes is up against Meerkat, Periscope, and Facebook, which recently launched livestreaming for users with verified pages. TVibes wants to set itself apart with a “near-live” option that lets people catch videos even if they can’t tune in when the video is streaming or, for Periscope, within 24 hours to see the temporarily saved broadcast. The “near-live” experience also lets TVibes offer higher-quality video for livestreams, Carni and Schneider add.
Their main goal, however, is for TVibes users to feel comfortable sharing “everyday video,” instead of competing directly with Meerkat and Periscope.
“Users who are looking to enjoy near-live content from specific locations or on specific subjects can browse TVibes by location or hashtag and discover fun video feed with live-content from sports events, concerts, or cool landmark locations, but we aren’t looking to address the same market as other livestreaming apps. Instead of live broadcasting video and then having it disappear, TVibes acts more like a VOD for your life,” the founder said.
The app isn’t currently disclosing its user numbers, but says it has seen strong growth since launching in July. TVibes is currently exploring several monetization models, including offering chancels for brands. Its near-term plans include improving content discovery to help users discover more videos and adding feature that automatically recognizes videos from specific events and organizes them into channels.