Real-time social video platform Hang w/ has catapulted into the headlines recently, closing a $2 million (£1.3m) Series A investment round that saw it valued at a cool $20 million (£12.8m).
Incubated by app development specialist MEDL Mobile, Hang w/ has established a strong following since launching out of closed beta back in March, notching up more than 1.3 million broadcasts and 7.5 million total user sessions on the iPhone alone. And the platform's reach should rise exponentially in the near future, following its recent rollout for Android.
So what's all the fuss about?
"This investment and the valuation is a testament to the phenomenal early organic success of Hang With. It provides the capital needed to fine tune the technology, increase usage, and help establish Hang With as the dominant live streaming video technology," commented Andrew Maltin, CEO and co-founder of MEDL Mobile.
Hang w/ is a kind of Twitter/YouTube hybrid, enabling users to create and share videos in real-time via live streaming. This broadcasting element is integrated with responsive social and advertising features, based on MEDL's patent pending Mobile Brain analytics engine, which helps profile users and makes recommendations based on a predictive algorithm. Another intriguing feature is that Hang w/ users can actively profit from their social media activity.
The Hang w/ website explains: "Hang w/ generates revenue by charging advertisers for the right to advertise during our broadcasts. Because you are the one doing the broadcasting, we feel that you should share in those profits."
Celebrities have been among the early adopters of Hang w/, with 50 Cent jumping on the bandwagon earlier this week. He joins the likes of Paula Abdul, Timbaland, and even renowned US talk show host Larry King.
Hang w/ is competing against the ooVoo Video Call app for the gong, while other finalists include the likes of Booking.com, SwiftKey, SoundHound, and Hulu - pretty prestigious company for a startup.