8. October 2014–
vive, a members-only, mobile video-chat community, announced a $1.5 million seed funding round from a number of well known European angels investors. Instead of self promotion, people should connect to gain happiness, the company states.
vive was founded in 2012 in Hanover by Arnd Aschentrup, Matthias Kleimann and Tobias Dickmeis. The beta app launched back in June. Today, the startup with offices in Berlin, San Francisco and Hanover announced that investors such as Christophe Maire (Atlantic Internet, investor in SoundCloud, EyeEm, Tape.tv, Monoqi), Ludwig zu Salm (Lunet Entertainment, Investor in Palantir, Skygrid, Evernote) and Martin Sinner (investor in Simfy, ResearchGate, Refined Labs, mysportbrands, Payango, Scarosso) joined the seed round.
As to be expected, the round will be used to continue working on the product as well as to expand.
Until today, the app has about 150,000 signups with over 40% of the members using it daily, vive states.
I have to admit: I definitely had first doubts about vive. I changed my mind after trying it.
After downloading the iOS app and logging in with Facebook, you’ll get asked three questions with an open space to answer:
“Which interests or skills would you like to share with the community?”
“What kind of people would you like to talk with on vive?”
“How would your best friend describe you?”
Afterwards, each person gets reviewed individually. It’s not clear however, who gets in and who doesn’t, but Aschentrup ensured that “looking for hot girls to date” will not make it into the community.
Within less than three minutes, I was reviewed and accepted to the community.
Then come the three rules:
After accepting them, users can pick a maximum age of the people they want to talk to as well as select whether they want to speak to members worldwide or within their country.
Connecting people with similar mindsets and ideas from different places seems a great idea. It can also help to get answers to different questions. Practising language skills, how to knit a scarf and how to play guitar was offered as well as how to teach a dog to sit.
Trying the app, the first person I got in touch with was Aschentrup himself.
"Our goal is to create the most authentic, emotional and human experience online,” he explains.
Employees in San Francisco and Berlin review each application to insure nobody looks for other matters in this app, e.g. dating. “There are other apps in that space that do that job better,” he says.
vive states that the free calls last in average 15 minutes and the longest one lasted about 13 hours.
“Video chat for consumers has been lacking for decades, but finally technology has become reliable enough to provide a great experience on smartphones and tablets, for free," says Aschentrup. "And vive adds real social value to it."
Simply connecting is quite addictive and gives users the chance to meet people in a completely different way than Twitter, Tinder or any other social network, offer.
vive mentioned to Gründerszene that the app will stay free, but will add premium features as well as a peer-to-peer marketplace for experts to monitize the app.