Start your handicapping: The race to be tops in social video sharing is on.

Palo Alto video startup Klip announced it has raised $8 million in a second round of funding. That's just two months after its launch – and an initial round of $2 million.

Klip's competitors include Vimessa, which lets users share video messages with friends, as well as Viddy,'s recently launched Socialcam and Spotmixer's Vlix, the last of which recently raised $16 million. Cisco estimates that two-thirds of the world's mobile data traffic will be video by 2015 – and that mobile video will more than double every year until then.

Klip -- co-founded by an Apple veteran who says he learned attention to tiny detail from Steve Jobs -- has ranked among the top social video sharing apps on iTunes since its launch in September. According to the company, it hit 100,000 downloads faster than any other app in the video category.

"From the start, it's been amazing to see how people have embraced Klip and the product's many social features," Klip chief executive officer and co-founder Alain Rossmann said in a statement. "We look forward to building on the incredible momentum generated over the past two months and driving more innovations in the mobile video market in the years to come."

Benchmark Capital led the round and was joined by previous investors including Matrix Partners and Rossmann himself.

Rossman was part of Apple's original Mac team, working on the marketing in the early 1980s. What did he pick up from Steve Jobs? "The last 10 percent of refinement gets you 90 percent of the market share," Rossman told Xconomy. In Klip's case, that has mean details such as face detection, which makes sure that the profile photo that shows up alongside uploaded videos is cropped properly.

Rossman is also a serial entrepreneur, founding five companies, two of which were acquired and three of which went public.  With other Mac alums he co-founded computer hardware maker Radius in 1986. He moved on found EO Inc., which made a wireless "personal communicator," that could be an ancestor of today's tablet computers. It was designed to send and receive faxes and email – but cost $4,000. Rossmann sold to the majority investor, and AT&T shut the company down in 1994.

He then founded Unwired Planet Inc., a mobile Web browsing tech company. The company eventually became Openwave Systems – and went public in 1999. In 2005, he helped found Vudu Inc., which made a top-of-the-TV box that delivered high-definition movies via the Inernet. Wal-Mart bought the company for a reported $100 million in June 2010.



Nov 21, 2011