ViKi Raises Series A Of USD 4.3M
December 10, 2010 by Gwendolyn Regina T
Community-power subtitled video site ViKi just raised a Series A round of USD 4.3M (SGD 5.6M). Investors include VC firms as well as individuals. Singapore-based Neoteny Labs was part of this round. More details in the press release below.
PALO ALTO, Calif. and SINGAPORE, Dec. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — ViKi, a community-powered site that allows anyone to enjoy and discover world TV and movies in their own language, today launched out of beta and is announcing Series A funding of $4.3 million. The funding comes from Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures, and Neoteny Labs, among others, and private investments from media executives, including Rajesh Sawhney, President of Reliance Entertainment of India, and Alex Zubillaga, former global head of digital at Warner Music. The capital will be used to accelerate expansion in global markets and partnerships with content providers.
The site, previously known as ViiKii, is the first and fastest platform for real-time subtitling of video in over 100 languages. ViKi leverages the power of its translator community to both subtitle and share their love of world TV and movies–from Japanese Anime to Spanish Novelas to Korean dramas to Egyptian movies to Bollywood and other genres–with new audiences. Translators subtitle shows into their native languages under a Creative Commons license agreement, via ViKi’s integrated and systematic platform, which includes revision history and user-generated edits.
“ViKi opens new markets for content owners, by finding new audiences and revenue streams. Viki also helps consumers by introducing them to new and unique international video content they may not have found otherwise,” said Reid Hoffman, Partner at Greylock, and investor in key platforms and networks such as Facebook, Zynga and Flickr.
Playful Kiss, a recent Korean drama, became an overnight web sensation with its exclusive 10-day US run on ViKi, and through ViKi’s distribution partner, Hulu. ViKi licensed the content for other regions, and the series was subtitled in over 40 languages, 20 of which were completed in the first 24 hours. Playful Kiss on ViKi reached US cable-sized audiences, and the series received legions of new fans across the globe. The success of the series led to a three way partnership between the drama’s producers, YouTube and ViKi, for a follow-on Special Edition, which played on an exclusive YouTube channel, with subtitles in ten languages contributed by the ViKi community within two days.
“ViKi helped Playful Kiss find its audience” said Song Byung Joon, CEO of Group 8, the production studio behind the series. We’ve partnered with ViKi on several series, and are extremely happy to see how our old and new shows are generating significant new revenues for us from new markets. It is rewarding to see audiences in so many countries fall in love with Playful Kiss and have the opportunity to view the show in their own languages.”
The idea for ViKi, a play on the words video and wiki, was inspired by co-founder Jiwon Moon’s own experience with the language barriers that she dealt with as a Korean student studying education technology at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Giving people a way to learn and improve language both by contributing to the translations and helping bring global entertainment to new fans is at the heart of the ViKi community, and is what has made the site so unique since its inception.
“Together with my co-founders Jiwon Moon and Changseong Ho, and with the support of our passionate translator community, we are removing the major wedge between great entertainment and its audience,” said Razmig Hovaghimian, co-founder and CEO of ViKi. “In the process, we are also unlocking new and additive value for content owners worldwide.”
With over 1 billion streams and 100 million words subtitled in over 143 languages, including Klingonese, ViKi has the most translated global video content available anywhere online.
Founded in 2008 and based in Palo Alto and Singapore, ViKi is a way for people to discover and enjoy the best of world TV and movies in their own language. With over 100 million words subtitled and thousands of hours of licensed videos from around the world, ViKi offers the widest variety of translated global video content available. The company has raised $4.3 million from Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures, Neoteny Labs, 500 Startups, Omidyar Network, The Raine Group and angels from Japan, India, and Silicon Valley.
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About The Author
Gwendolyn Regina T - Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Gwen is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of SGE. Previously, she was a partner of early stage technology investment firm, Thymos Capital and she has had two exits, one of which is iHipo. She is also an investor in Padlet, a Y-Combinator startup. Gwen also sits on the Board of Advisors for the Singapore Innovation & Productivity Institute, Steering Commmittee for the Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation Awards 2013, and Board of Advisors for Social Media Week 2013. A frequent public speaker, mentor and judge at various startup bootcamps, events and competitions, Gwen loves meeting founders, developers, designers and scientists across all ages. An alumnus of the National University of Singapore and its University Scholars Programme, Gwen also spent some time in Silicon Valley and is a graduate of the NUS-Stanford University overseas college programme. She is also a mentor at Polish tech startup incubator Gamma Rebels, the Singapore curator for US-headquartered StartupDigest and the Singapore Ambassador for the Sandbox Network - the leading global network of innovators under 30. Gwen has also been a Worldwide Judge for Imagine Cup - the premier student technology competition helmed by Microsoft. She has also spoken in Hong Kong at one of its largest youth conferences, MaD Asia, and was recently in Austria to help envision the future of the country's economy in 2032 on invitation from an Austrian governmental organization. Gwen speaks 3.25 languages, loves physics, travelling, dance and adventure sports. She can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Gwendolyn Regina T