Mobile phones have revolutionized communications by allowing us not only to speak on the go, but also to text, email, chat and in the last few years, see our interlocutor through live video chat.
Israeli startup Glide, founded it in 2012, is now trying to take communications further by proposing an alternative to texting through “video walkie-talkie”.
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“We were all bothered by how difficult it was to communicate with friends and family through video,” say Glide founders Ari Roisman, Adam Korbl and Jonathan Caras. “Video calls are hard to arrange because all the participants need to align their schedules, [while] texting is so convenient.” Roisman says the founders then thought: “what if we could make video chat just as simple and easy as texting?” Then Glide was born.
According to the founders, Glide’s service experience is just as convenient as texting. It offers asynchronous realtime video chat, meaning one doesn’t have to think about whether or not the person on the other end is busy. The user pushes the button and streams their video to a contact, which can stream back right away, or if busy, answer later.
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Roisman, Glide’s CEO claims other applications Tango and Whatsapp or services like Skype and FaceTime are “different from Glide because they have introduced video messaging as an afterthought. Yet, video messaging in this way is really slow, and doesn’t allow for real time communication,” he explains.
Referring to Facetime or Skype, Roisman says that when users video-calls someone and they’re unavailable, the conversation is over before it starts. “The video content is lost and the call was a failure,” says Roisman. “With Glide’s real-time video chat, the user doesn’t have to fully commit to the session like a phone call,” Roisman adds, “since the videos are simultaneously broadcast live and saved to the cloud. If your friends are available, they can watch the video live, and if not, it’s waiting for them so they can watch it later.”
A different product with $2 million in the bank
Roisman explains how video works on other apps: “Videos are first created locally on the smartphone device, they are then compressed and uploaded. The intended recipient then receives a notification that it has received a video message.”
Roisman claims that because Glide is a “video walkie-talkie”, an asynchronous service, “it uses half the bandwidth of Skype or Facetime, therefore works much better for groups, and automatically saves each moment.”
Glide, which employs 17 people, has so far raised $2 million from angel investors. Investors include former ICQ CEO Orey Gilliam, ooVoo founder and former CEO Philippe Schwartz, Australian VC Square Peg, New-York based VC Prolific, among others.
“We are ready for our next round of funding this summer,” says Roisman and adds that currently, Glide’s team is 100 percent focused on creating the best possible video communication experience for its users.
Regarding its business plan, Roisman says “eventually, we see tremendous potential in licensing our technology to other developers (IE Platform as a service) and offering power users premium features and functionality.”
Most of Glide’s capital went towards development, “building a powerful piece of technology,” says Roisman. The app was ranked as one of Apple’s favorite new apps and has recently won the “Crowd Favorite” honors on TechCrunch’s Disrupt Competition.
Roisman says in the short term Glide is “focused on expanding to Android and additional login options while we continue to improve the user experience.”
Glide is available for iOS and has a beta version for Android devices.