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CoinJoos founder's new startup AirGol looking to raise $1M by early 2014

Noida-based AirGol Online Pvt Ltd, which offers AirGol.com, a platform that enables users to broadcast videos and share them live, is in talks with a couple of global VC firms to raise upwards of $1 million in funding by early next year. The firm is also looking to achieve break-even by the end of the next calendar year, its founder and CEO Nitin Gupta told Techcircle.in.

Set up in 2013, AirGol is Gupta's third venture. His first, OnGraph Technologies, is a web enterprises solutions firm. The second venture CoinJoos was an e-commerce platform for selling and renting used as well as new books which was acquired by HomeShop18.com in August 2011.

AirGol has both consumer and enterprise offerings. The consumer app, available on both iOS and Android platforms, allows users to broadcast up to five minutes of videos and share them live with their social media friends as and when they happen (or later). Public videos will be broadcasted on AirGol website. The enterprise solution allows businesses to integrate and offer streaming/recorded video content to their audience within minutes, without worrying about setting up of a complex infrastructure and any technical know-how.

"The enterprise version consists of a mobile app and a platform/infrastructure for hosting and serving the media content from the cloud. You can integrate it with your websites or blogs, and offer live/recorded videos to your consumers," explained Gupta, who holds a B Tech degree in Computer Science from IIT Roorkee.

The startup also claims that its products can be integrated with custom ad server technology, where they can become content publishers and earn revenues from ads displayed on their videos. In short, it is an independent 'AdSense' for mobile videos, similar to Google AdSense where users earn if the content is interesting.

Revenue streams

AirGol mainly earns money from advertisements. It also makes money from its B2B video platform services. The company claims it has a couple of paying customers in the real estate sector.

"We have more than 25,000 videos broadcasted on platform, with one-third of them coming from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the US, besides India. We also have more than 30,000 downloads to our credit for our consumer product," Gupta said.

In April this year, the startup raised its first round of funding from its parent OnGraph. The money is being used for product engineering and enhancements. The company has employed eight people. Gupta said the money raised from the next round of funding will be used to expand its engineering team as well as for its initial marketing activities. "The talks are in progress. We hope to close this round by the first quarter of 2014," he said.

The firm mainly competes with US-based Livestream and uStream. The former offers event owners a complete set of hardware and software tools to share their events online, while uStream is a socially-fuelled video platform for broadcasters. Another firm, Udupi (Karnataka)-based , offers a social video app that helps edit and share videos in real time.

Gupta noted that the market for videos in India offers massive opportunities. By 2015, around 60 per cent of overall internet traffic will come from videos, he said.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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