Coub.com, a Moscow-based startup launched last year, has just raised $1 million in a Series A round from Phenomen Ventures and Brother Ventures, two emerging Russian funds operating internationally. The startup’s valuation has not been disclosed, but the funds told East-West Digital News they received a minority stake in return for their investments.
Coub is a service for making short videos. With Coub’s online video editor users can extract an up to ten second long excerpt from a file or online hosting service (YouTube, Vimeo) and add audio.
Coub’s proprietary video player loops the resulting composition and makes it easy to share on social networks, blogs, and other websites.
Since its launch in April 2012, Coub.com has enjoyed “an extremely fast growth due to our viral features,” co-founder Anton Gladkoborodov told EWDN. “We now attract 1 million daily visitors, or 9 million unique users per month who create 1,000 ‘coubs’ everyday.”
So far 70% of Coub.com’s traffic comes from Russia, but the startup and its backers clearly have international ambitions. “We’re working on this right now, with plans to open an office in the US,” Gladkoborodov said.
Coub.com currently has 15 employees, mostly programmers and designers. It was co-founded one year ago by Anton Gladkoborodov, Igor Gladkoborodov, and Mikhail Tabunov. Anton, 32, had already founded or co-founded a web-design studio and several online media projects, including Look At Me.
His brother Igor, 30, worked as a programmer at the famous Art Lebedev design studio, while Tabunov worked as a chief client-side developer at UnDev, a Russian technological company that develops online-video solutions.
At the early stage, the startup was only a part-time project funded by its founders. This first round of investment will be used to enhance Coub’s website, develop a mobile application, and reach new audiences, the company stated.
Two Russian funds emerging on the international scene
Phenomen Ventures is a $300 million fund founded in April of last year by Dmitry Falkovich, a tech investment veteran who took part in the development of the Mail.ru Group with Yuri Milner. Its portfolio companies include Fab.com, an international online design store, Virool, a California-based social video platform, Hailo, a London-based mobile taxi booking service, and two Berlin based food delivery startups.
Phenomen Ventures is also behind Onetwotrip, a popular Russian online air ticket booking site.
Brothers Ventures is an investment vehicle created by Russian serial entrepreneurs David and Daniil Liberman. The Liberman brothers have already invested in a variety of tech projects, including two Californian startups (Knotch.it and Epoxy.tv) and three Russian ones (D3/Leprosorium, PLAXD, and Patrn). They also founded Sibilant Interactive, Concept Space, and Kanobu, a leading Russian network gaming site acquired by the Rambler-Afisha group in 2011.
The Liberman brothers formally established their fund just one year ago, “but we will eventually become a more classic fund with LPs,” they told EWDN.
First published in East-West Digital News (EWDN.COM), a leading English-language resource dedicated to Russian digital industries.
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