Meerkat Closes Funding Round

The recent roller-coaster ride of live-streaming application Meerkat continued with its announcement that it closed a funding round and its accompanying mission statement.

The recent roller-coaster ride of live-streaming application Meerkat continued with its announcement that it closed a funding round and its accompanying mission statement.

Meerkat took off at the South by Southwest gathering in Austin, Texas, earlier this month, only to see Twitter cut off access to its application-programming interface, blocking competition to the live-streaming app it launched with recent acquisition Periscope.

Perhaps in response to questions of how it can survive and thrive without access to Twitter’s API, Meerkat wrote in its post announcing the funding round:

It is neither simple to broadcast from a mobile device nor to discover and consume live content on a mobile device.

Today, most live video is consumed and transmitted transactionally.

Live video over social graphs generates new emotions and feelings that are different from those on existing social networks. Feelings like drama, anticipation, uncertainty, unpredictability, presence and empowerment to change are new.

We are an open platform. We have an awesome community of developers who, even without a documented API, are already building great products for live streams on top of Meerkat — things like #katch for recording, Meerkat Streams for discovery and Suricate for promoting upcoming streams (see full list here). We are committed to an open platform and embrace the community’s creativity from day one.

As for the financing round, it was led by Greylock Partners, with participation by companies Aleph, Broadway Video Ventures, CAA Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Entree Capital, Raine Ventures, Sherpa, Slow Ventures, Sound Ventures, Universal Music Group, UTA, Vayner/RSE and WME and individual investors Jared Leto, David Tisch and Chad Hurley.

In addition, Greylock’s Josh Elman, a former Facebook platform program manager, is joining the Meerkat board of directors, and he offered a lengthy endorsement of the company in a Medium post, writing:

Now that Meerkat has lit the world on fire over the past couple of weeks, it’s becoming the foundation of what I hope will become a powerful new network. A way for people to instantaneously broadcast moments in their lives to anyone, or to schedule and plan ahead for interesting content they want to broadcast live. For viewers, we think this is going to provide an amazing alternative to other kinds of engagement and entertainment. Instead of reading asynchronous messages, you can jump in live, with friends, to view the world through someone else’s eyes and talk and express yourself together. For artists and creators, we think this will inspire a new way of engaging with their fans and enable them to create and earn significant new value for their content along the way too.

Readers: Have you experimented with Meerkat? What are your thoughts?