Santa Monica, California-based Vyng is a company that is transforming how conversations start on mobile devices. The company has announced that it has raised $4 million in Series A funding led by Omidyar Network India and existing investor March Capital Partners. Vyng transforms a user’s caller ID into a video that is selected by the user or the incoming caller. The Vyng app is currently only available for Android.
Users can create their own video ringtones or caller IDs or pick one from a curated library of videos arranged by interest channels. Currently, Vyng has three patents for its proprietary technology delivering video calls through calls and contextual texting.
According to Forbes, Vyng co-founder Jeffrey Chernick came up with the concept when he used a voice memo as a ringtone. And Vyng co-founder Sohrab Pirayesh saw the potential of making phones more personable by allowing phone contacts to select the video that appears during a phone call. Vyng has a database of 6 million videos crowdsourced by users and content is also pulled from JukinMedia, Yoola, TikTok.
“Vyng brings a powerful video content experience to what was previously an audio-only caller ID, creating a new distribution channel for short-form content owners and a better experience for making and receiving phone calls,” said Vyng CEO and co-founder Paul Kats. “We’re constantly inundated with notifications and spam we don’t care about – by showing a personalized video on the lockscreen, Vyng is elevating the people and conversations that matter most.”
With this funding round, Vyng will be growing its team and is going to continue developing patents to drive the video content experience on smartphones. Ever since Vyng launched its video ringtones service last year, more than two billion videos have been distributed in 170 countries. And it is driving engagement in regions such as South Asia and North Africa.
“Vyng has delivered billions of user-friendly video notifications and ringtones across mobile devices and reinforced their leadership in the space with several patents,” said Jim Armstrong, Managing Director, March Capital Partners. “We’ve seen their ability to solve for Android’s fragmentation across the globe, building better notifications across 6,000 Android devices and bringing full-screen video pushed to its users without requiring consistent data.”
And Omidyar Network India investment partner Siddharth Nautiyal pointed out that there is an urgent need to reimagine the user journey for mobile users in India, who is often referred to as “the Next Half Billion.”