Photo tech company Vhoto raises $2.4 mln in seed

Vhoto, which develops photo capturing technology, announced it has raised a $2.4 million dollar seed round from Atlas Venture, Polaris Partners and Hugh Crean. Crean is co-founder and chairman of Vhoto, and he is former president and CEO of Farecast, as well as an EIR at General Catalyst Partners. Vhoto’s free app, which is available to download from the Apple app store, allows users to take a video and then scans each frame in the video and chooses the best photos for users to save and share. There’s currently no Android version available. Vhoto is based in Seattle and has an office in Boston.

UPDATE: Additional information about the company was added to the summary above.

PRESS RELEASE

Vhoto – Great Photos From Video

Revolutionary Camera Technology Will Change the Way We Take Photos

Vhoto, the company that finds amazing photos through the power of video, announced today that its revolutionary Vhoto App for iPhone and iPod touch is now available exclusively on the App Store in the United States and worldwide.

Vhoto is free, easy, and fun! Simply take a video using the Vhoto camera app or choose a video from your iPhone or iPod touch’s library. Vhoto’s proprietary technology automatically finds amazing photos hidden inside your video. Then you can save or share your favorite photos on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or with the Vhoto community.

“We are addressing two big pain points with mobile photography today. Everyone has had trouble hitting the button at the right moment to get the perfect shot. And everyone is forced to choose between photo and video every time we want to capture an amazing moment,” says Noah Heller, Vhoto’s CEO. “Vhoto solves both of these problems by starting with video. We get you all of the shots—quickly showing you the best ones—and we get you video as well. We believe that this is fundamentally a better way to take a picture.”

Because the technology is based on video, Vhoto also eliminates the need for users to frame and pose shots, making it ideal for selfies, action shots, candids, children, pets and group pictures – things that are notoriously difficult to capture in a single photo.

“Computer vision is the technology that allows Vhoto to understand if the subject of the photo is sharp, well-framed, and looking good,” says Jay Bartot, Vhoto’s CTO. “Machine learning is the tool that  that lets us begin to understand what you like. Vhoto combines computer vision and machine learning to deliver great results, better than what many people can get from a still photo alone.”

Vhoto’s proprietary computer vision technology evaluates over 20 dimensions, including blur, contrast, faces, smiles, novelty, and user intent, to quickly extract the best moments from video. Vhoto’s machine learning technology analyzes a user’s choices and ensures that every time it processes a video, it gets smarter. Vhoto leverages the powerful iSight Camera on iPhone and iPod touch, taking advantage of the increased processing power of the A7 chip.

Vhoto has also announced a $2.4 million dollar seed round, with investments from Atlas Venture, Polaris Partners, and Co-Founder / Chairman Hugh Crean.

“More than a century ago, George Eastman of Kodak introduced the automatic camera to the world and said, You Push The Button And We Do The Rest,” said Heller.  “Today, Vhoto continues that tradition. Our technology lets users get great photos without thinking about how to frame the shot or when to press the button.”

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