360 video startup Pie, has raised a seed round and launched its first iPhone app. With Pie, users can add text and transitions to 360 degree videos, make fast cuts, short clips and share their work with others.
The seed round was led by McClatchy, Colopl VR Fund, Sparkland Capital, Stage Venture Partners, Graph Ventures and Matter Ventures.
The California based company plans to use the seed fund to build a mobile social network where users can discover, create, and share 360 videos and a new ‘touchable video’ format it has developed called ‘slices.’ The company describes them as swipeable 360 GIFs.
Pie Co-Founder Ceci Mourkogiannis said “we are excited about the long-term possibilities of VR as it relates to 360 video, but today we want to serve the 2 billion people who already own smartphones and give them a way to create and watch 360 videos that fits into their everyday lives.”
The Pie team believes that by focusing on making a seamless 360 video creation experience, Pie can fend off competition from YouTube and Facebook.
“Until now the difficulty of creating a 360 video has been holding back mass adoption of this new medium,” CTO and co-founder Guillaume Sabran said. ‘We set ourself the goal of making the process of capturing, editing, and sharing a 360 video at least 10x faster than existing options.”
Pie’s iPhone app can be downloaded from iTunes Store for free.
“As a news company, we view 360-degree video as a major driver for the industry overall. As we consider how storytelling evolves, in our communities and around the world, we see this as a major step ahead.” said Andy Pergam, VP Video and New Ventures, McClatchy.
“Ceci, Jacob, and Gui are three of the most exciting and driven entrepreneurs I’ve ever worked with.” said Corey Ford, Managing Partner at Matter.Ventures. “Their user-centered approach to building Pie means that no one is better positioned to win the huge, burgeoning market of 360 video.”
Pie will partner with Insta360, the company that manufactures small 360-degree cameras that can be connected to iPhone 6, 6S, 7 or 7S to shoot 360 images.
“We are excited to work with Pie as our U.S. partner, and to integrate Insta360 cameras with the Pie iOS app. Insta360 and Pie share the vision of making 360 video creation as easy and accessible as possible, and with Pie’s platform launching today we are one step closer to that reality,” said Jingkang Liu, CEO of Insta360.