Social Video Streaming App Whatifi Raises $10 Million

By Annie Baker ● June 11, 2020
  • Whatifi, a company that provides a new way to watch movies on your phone with friends, announced it launched with $10 million in funding

Whatifi, a company that provides a new way to watch movies on your phone with friends, announced it launched with $10 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from Matrix Partners. The company is also backed by leaders in tech and entertainment, including David Wells (former Netflix CFO), Ilkka Paananen (Supercell), Max Levchin (Paypal and Affirm), Marc Pincus (Zynga), Michael Birch (Bebo), Taavet Hinrikus (Transferwise), Josh Hannah (Betfair), and Jon McNeill (Tesla, Lyft).

How does Whatifi work? Whatifi unlocks the ability to discuss, debate, and decide what happens next in the movies you watch with friends and family thus offering dozens of plotlines, character arcs, and endings. And each Whatifi film is broken down into short segments.

At the key turning points, the watch party is presented with a dilemma and has to make a decision. And if the group doesn’t vote unanimously, they can jump into the built-in chat feature to discuss. Every decision completely changes the outcome of the story: nothing is inconsequential.

The two films available at launch (“Anatomy of a Decision” and “As Dead as it Gets”) offer a combined 80 different endings and storylines to explore. And more films and other content will be continuously released starting later this year.

“Whatifi fuses the lean-back and isolated experience of traditional streaming with the interactivity of gaming, and immerses it in social interaction,” said Jaanus Juss, co-founder of Whatifi. “It’s a new entertainment category that defines how the next generation will entertain themselves. For the first time, you and your friends are in the director’s chair, debating and calling the shots together.”

Whatifi’s co-founders Jaanus Juss and Hardi Meybaum came up with their idea for the service from their passion for interactive theater they had been involved with. And Whatifi’s format also opens new frontiers for filmmakers who can now create dynamic narratives that traditional story formats do not permit.

The company also announced the launch of Whatifi Studios, which is its branching-story development and production platform. And Whatifi Studios launches with a script contest aimed at both screenwriters and writer-directors. The contest will have a prize pool and aims to have five movies written, funded, and released on Whatifi in 120 days.

Whatifi is available for download for iOS.