A Q&A with Switchcam co-founder and CEO Brett Welch. The San Francisco–based company was founded in 2011 and last week announced that it has raised $1.2 million in Seed funding. Investors include Mark Cuban, 500 Startups and Turner Media Camp.
SUB: Please describe what Switchcam is, and the value proposition you bring to online video.
Welch: Switchcam is an interactive video experience. We take multiple videos from across the Internet and automatically edit them together, allowing users to watch events like concerts and sports games from multiple angles. Ultimately, we help content owners have deeper engagement with viewers; they spend a longer time and are more engaged because of the user-directed editing that Switchcam provides.
SUB: Who are your target users?
Welch: Billions of videos of live events—news, music and sports—are watched every month. Our target users are the people who are watching this footage already. Switchcam is a far better experience for this kind of content.
SUB: What differentiates Switchcam from the competition?
Welch: Many competitors in the multi-cam space are trying to create auto-editing algorithms that churn out a traditional, linear video. We’re more interested in creating interactive videos. Also, we don’t require videographers to use our own app. We work with existing content libraries rather than relying on an app.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Welch: Early 2011. The first thing we did was discuss the ideas and problems that we felt were interesting and meaningful and worth solving. We discarded a few ideas because they weren’t meaningful enough.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for Switchcam? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Welch: Chris and I both go to concerts and noticed people recording videos. So the trend and behavior was obvious. What was more gradual was the business model behind it.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Welch: Hiring, doing things with limited resources is tough.
SUB: You recently raised $1.2 million in Seed funding. What are your plans for the funds?
Welch: Hiring, because doing things with limited resources is tough.
SUB: Do you plan to raise more outside funding in the near future?
Welch: We’ll see how we go. We have enough cash to fund the business for now, and we are also on the cusp of generating enough revenue to be self-sustaining. Ideally we’ll be able to choose exactly if and when we want to raise more money, not be forced to by our burn-rate.
SUB: What are your goals for Switchcam over the next year or so?
Welch: Really get into sports and news, build out the product so it really serves those use cases well. Both are such huge opportunities and we have some awesome ideas in both.
Switchcam – www.switchcam.com