Last year, during the epidemic, Netflix Party acquired free browser extension traction because it enabled people to connect with distant friends and family by watching the same Netflix TV shows and movies at the same time. Yet that company – later renamed Teleparpet – was just the beginning, arguing two young companies that have raised seed funds. One, a one-year-old in London that launched in December, has just closed this week, led by Craft Ventures.
The other, a Bay Area-based four-year-old startup, has raised $3 million for previously undisclosed seed funds, including 500 startups. Both believe that as investors invest in virtual events and ad tech companies, there is a greater opportunity to develop a kind of multiplayer browsing experience that enables people to do much more together online.
From watching games to watching movies to an X-ray review with a doctor one day, both have said that more webs surfing together are inevitable, especially for younger users. Companies are taking a slightly different approach. Craft, which initially generated just $2.2 million in seeds, is a giggle, a London-based startup that invites users of its web application to tap into virtual sessions, calling it a “portal” that allows friends to browse content together, as well as Text, can invite to chat and call.
Portals can be private rooms or can be switched to “public” so that anyone can join. The company was founded by four teenagers, who grew up together, led by 19-year-old CEO Tony Jog, and the startup is a fair newbie. In fact, it recently graduated from the launch accelerator program. Now it plans to use its new funds to reduce its own custom server infrastructure downtime and reduce its costs. It’s a bit of a dream field strategy, with over 60,000 people currently signing up on Jiggle, one-third of the monthly active users, Jog told us. But the idea is to create a sticker product that works in all sorts of situations and is available in free and paid versions.
For example, people can now chat with friends right now while running social media or watching events together like the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference. In the end, Giggle plans to charge consumers for more premium features, as well as sell enterprise subscriptions to such garments to find more ways to collaborate. (You can check out a demo of Gigal’s current service below).