Justin.tv Raises Funding For Trendy Lifecasting

Posted Oct 3, 2007

Justin Kan and Emmett Shear are entrepreneurs that have a close-knit relationship with Y-Combinator. Kan and Shear created a calendar company called Kiko which sold on eBay for $258,000. Since then, Kan launched Justin.tv last March. Justin.tv is also backed by Y-Combinator.

Justin.tv is a website dedicated to the “lifecasting” of its members. Members of Justin.tv attach a webcam to their computers and chat with those who are interested in their life. Imagine The Truman Show except for multiple characters and the filming is voluntary. Browsing from camera-to-camera reminds me of browsing albums on an Apple iPhone:

When Justin.tv first launched, a series of unfortunate events happened.

The first event was a police raid. On Wednesday March 21st at 1:40AM, pranksters called the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) and reported a shooting using Justin.tv’s cell phone number that was listed on the website at the time and reported stabbings. The SFPD entered the Justin.tv with guns drawn while the web cameras were rolling.

The second unfortunate event was that another prankster used the Justin.tv cell phone number to report a fire in the building. Six fire trucks showed up. The cameras were off this time though.

Undaunted by the event, Justin.tv prevailed and membership increased. The company also found a way to cut costs from $0.36 per user hour to less than a penny. And now the company is officially backed by Alsop Louie Partners.

The amount of funding is undisclosed.

Information Sources:
[1] paidContent: Justin.tv Gets Funding; Launches Open Video Streaming Servic
[2] NewTeeVee: Justin.tv Wins Funding, Opens Platform
[3] TechCrunch: Viewer Prank: Police Raid Justin.tv