Wibbitz, a startup that coverts text and articles into videos in a matter of seconds, yesterday closed a funding round of approximately $3 million. The startup, founded in 2011, landed $2.3 million from Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures. Horizons Ventures is known for tech investments such as Facebook, Spotify and Waze. The company’s previous investors, Lool Ventures, Initial Capital and private investor Eli Gabay, also participated in the round – bringing the total investment in the company to about $3 million.
Wibbitz Co-Founder and CEO Zohar Dayan tells NoCamels that “the company will use the new funding to support the growing demand for its services and further the commercialization of the technology, beginning with a NYC office, as well as the expansion of its R&D team in Israel.”
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Wibbitz provides a text-to-video technology that can automatically turn any text-based article, post or feed on the web into a video. Videos can also be shared on Facebook, posted as a link on Twitter, or embedded in a web page.
Changing information consumption
According to Wibbitz, their technology can create videos from the original text-based content in a matter of seconds and add images, video clips, animated info-graphics and voiceover narration. It does so by automatically analyzing the text and matching the best visual content, using fully-licensed images.
Dayan explains: “The service leverages advanced semantic text analysis technology that enables textual content to get summarized down to the essence. Our algorithm is a sort of artificial intelligence. We analyze the text, create a summary out of it, we only extract the most important parts and bring the most relevant images and video clips from around the web and convert all the text to voice.”
“If you think about it, the way we consume our information hasn’t changed in the last 100 years… what essentially has happened is we took our traditional printed newspaper and put it inside our computer screen. We believe that there are greater capabilities and greater opportunities in creating a multimedia enhanced video consumption experience,” says Dayan.
Co-founder Yotam Cohen adds: “We have introduced a one-click solution for creating broadcast-quality video clips in real-time.”
Single line of code
As the videos are based on HTML5, they can be played across most devices, including tablet computers and smart TVs.
Currently more than 20,000 sites have generated videos using the company’s latest version, which was introduced last fall.
Beyong the free version, Wibbitz is currently starting partnerships with brand name publishers to use its premium version. “Our solution allows brand name publishers to create new high-quality video inventory out of their existing text-based content in a scalable and efficient way. Those videos can later be delivered across any platform; whether it’s on web browsers, smartphones or connected TV’s,” says Dayan.
The premium version will offer more advanced editing options.