Online video platform Koozoo has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by New Enterprise Associates and Tugboat Ventures. Angel investors participating in this round included Dave Moellenhoff, co-founder and former CTO of Salesforce.com, and Michael Covarrubias, Chairman & CEO of TMG Partners. Koozoo describes itself as a “crowd-sourced network of continuously broadcasting smartphone video cameras.”
Koozoo, the first platform dedicated to unlocking the potential of shared live video of the world’s public places, today announced it had closed a $2.5 million seed round of funding led by New Enterprise Associates and Tugboat Ventures. Angel investors participating in this round included Dave Moellenhoff, co-founder and former CTO of Salesforce.com, and Michael Covarrubias, Chairman & CEO of TMG Partners.
“Koozoo is the first platform to make live views of the world’s public places easily accessible to one and all,” said Drew Sechrist, CEO and co-founder of Koozoo. “It’s incredible that today we can instantly look up an old friend or nearly any factoid, but we still can’t easily find answers to simple questions about what’s happening right now — like how long the line is at the coffee shop or whether or not it’s foggy at the beach. That’s the basic problem Koozoo aims to solve.”
Koozoo is the first crowd-sourced network of continuously broadcasting smartphone video cameras. From any smartphone, computer, or tablet, Koozoo members can instantly see user-generated live views of places they care about, from their favorite neighborhood cafe to iconic destinations around the world.
“The world’s static information has already been indexed and made available to us in seconds. The next frontier is understanding what’s happening in the real world, right now, and Koozoo is leading the way,” said Jon Sakoda, of NEA.
Koozoo members share their views by downloading the Koozoo App to an old smartphone and point the device out of a home or office window to share a 24/7 live view. Koozoo is free.
“Koozoo will usher in a new era that reads like science fiction today,” said Trevor Darrell, professor at UC Berkeley and head of the Computer Vision Group at the International Computer Science Institute. “For example, within a few years I expect Koozoo to let you take a virtual walk down the street in Tokyo or Paris in 3D, live, as you sit comfortably at home in California.”
How to Get Involved
Koozoo is currently in closed beta-testing in San Francisco, and will launch publicly in early 2013. To participate in the Koozoo Beta Program, San Francisco residents can send a picture of the view from their home or office windows to views(at)koozoo.com. People with interesting views of life in San Francisco may be given early beta access.
Koozoo is a new online platform that allows people to see and share live views of places they care about. Koozoo’s goal is to make live views of the world’s public spaces easily accessible to one and all. Koozoo is a private company backed by New Enterprise Associates, Tugboat Ventures, and other private investors. The company was founded in 2010 with offices in San Francisco, CA. For additional information, visit www.koozoo.com .
About New Enterprise Associates
New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a leading venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With approximately $13 billion in committed capital, NEA invests in information technology, healthcare and energy technology companies at all stages in a company’s lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm’s long track record includes more than 175 portfolio company IPOs and more than 290 acquisitions. In the U.S., NEA has offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area; Menlo Park, California; and New York City. In addition, New Enterprise Associates (India) Pvt. Ltd. has offices in Bangalore and Mumbai, India and New Enterprise Associates (Beijing), Ltd. has offices in Beijing and Shanghai, China. For additional information, visit www.nea.com .
About Tugboat Ventures
Tugboat Ventures is an early stage, mentor capital firm dedicated to investing significant time, energy and money in the highest potential entrepreneurs to assist them in building market-leading companies. Tugboat’s active involvement starts as early as concept stage and continues through public offering and beyond. Tugboat invests primarily in capital-efficient companies in software infrastructure, enterprise software-as-a-service, consumer internet, mobility and cloud computing. Current and prior companies served by Tugboat’s team include Blue Nile, Drugstore.com, Good, Imperva, PGP, RepairPal, richrelevance, ShopItToMe and SuccessFactors. For more information about Tugboat Ventures, visit http://www.tugboatventures.com .