Folks, it’s time to stop launching video sites. We have lost count. No human mind can keep track of all the video sites out there, or the tiny nuances of sharing and hosting technology that differentiate them.
We’re wondering if Fliqz, a Silicon Valley (Emeryville/Berkeley) start-up will go down in history with the distinction of being the last video site ever to raise a round of capital. The start-up says it has raised $1 million from angels to advance its video hosting and sharing site. It doesn’t want to be a YouTube. Rather, it wants to help people manage their personal vidoes into collections, with high-quality resolution. Today, it launched a new tool called Fliqzster — which it says gives any website owner the ability to host video easily and for free.
Ok, but we’ve heard that line before, from sites like Videoegg. So we asked Benjamin Wayne, president and CEO of Fliqz, how Fliqz was different from say, Videoegg. (Btw, Kevin Sladek, co-founder of Videoegg, tells us there are 300 video sites now.)
With Fliqzster, he said, users don’t have to navigate away from the website they are currently browsing. To embed a video link, users simply select a video on their desktop, then click a button at Flizqz to receive both the permalink and a snippet of code for embedding the video into any blog, classified, webpage, or social networking site. But that’s what Videoegg lets you do. (Correction: Wayne got back to us and clarified the difference, which is important: Fliqzster is the only tool that allows any site to offer video uploading capabilities to its visitors without requiring a client download or any technical integration with the site. Vidoegg requires an initial client download, and an API code integration.)
Does Fliqz offer any new or different technology, we asked? No. Wayne is betting that execution — focusing on the customer experience — is the key to success. We are still left wondering how the site differentiates itself (Wayne says the clarification above is important).
Let us know, folks, if we’re missing anything. Wayne did say that Travelblog, a travel site, and a few other sites are using the Fliqzster tool — but they are using it for free. Fliqz hopes to make money through other means, such as revenue sharing once partner sites run ads at the end of videos. But here again Fliqz is late to the game, with Videoegg and several others already serving such ads.
Angel financing came from The Caufield Angel Fund (as in Frank Caufield, of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers), Dave Witherow, former president of VentureOne, Don Hutchison, a former Excite@home exec and Marty Korman, of Wilson Sonsini. The investment was made in a couple of tranches, starting in November of last year, Wayne said.
Update: We’ve since talked with investor Dave Witherow, who rightly points out that the video market is huge, providing plenty of opportunity for smart players. He agreed that Fliqz may not want to push itself as a big-brand consumer play, but work with sites to come up with new, cool ways to implement technology on the back-end.