Social media managers and content managers interested in social media success stories might do well to check out the impressive rise of Keek, the Toronto-based social video sharing startup, which has just secured new funding totaling $18 million.
This little firm appears to be doing a lot right. Investors certainly seem to think so. And so, evidently, do its users: their numbers have soared from just a few thousand in the months after its launch to 15 million unique users per month making 75 million visits per month.
In the last month alone, the company has acquired 6 million new sign-ups at a rate of around 200,000 a day. It’s enough to make the average community manager go green with envy.
The latest funding round was led by AGF Investments, Plazacorp Ventures and Pinetree Capital, with additional investment from Cranson Capital. But what’s persuading these investors to reach for their checkbooks?
Forget entertainment. Video is communication
Those numbers speak volumes. The startup’s uniqueness lies in its use of short videos (36 seconds maximum) as a means of communication rather than simply entertainment. Things really started to take off last spring, when Keek moved from being web-only to mobile compatible. With its release of mobile apps for Android and Apple gadgets last year, Keek now boasts four million user-generated movie clips being posted every month.
While competitors like Socialcam and Klip have failed to take off in the same way, Keek’s emphasis on fast, simple communication through video – sans cumbersome editing and entertainment/feature overload – has paid off handsomely. Although its popularity has grown from the base up, it now includes some famous US celebrities among its users, like Kim Kardashian and her sisters, not to mention 2 Chainz and Adam Lambert.
CEO and founder Isaac Raichyk believes Keek’s unique angle on mobile video sharing is the key to its success. He said:
“It’s a way for people to communicate with their friends, with the followers, with their fans, or whoever, but it’s a way to communicate. We don’t provide any beautification filters, no video editing, just point; shoot; upload; communicate.”
Much of the $18 million will be plowed in to a massive infrastructure expansion, which Raichyk says is crucial to his company’s international growth. Keek could well become the Instagram of social video sharing.