Vokle Expands from Special Event Support to Worldwide Online Broadcaster Community
IRVINE, Calif., June 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel investment network in the U.S., today announced its participation in a $767,000 round of funding for Vokle, a web-based video communications "talk show" platform. According to TCA lead investor Dave Berkus, "This is the second phase of TCA's investment in Vokle that began at the end of 2010, and the robust interest in the company by our members has been based on Vokle's increased capability of their version 2.0, which has inspired growth and a clear market focus."
According to Robert Kiraz, president and chief executive officer of Vokle, "When we launched Vokle, the embedding functionality, role-based moderation and audience engagement features of the platform allowed us to capture a lot of attention through the worldwide interactive broadcast of some very high-level events involving Al Gore, Imogen Heap, Arianna Huffington, Willow Bay, Sir Richard Branson and Tony Robbins. But it has always been our intention to become a staple of interactive communication for the everyday broadcasters. That has been our focus over the last six months in the creation of version 2.0 and we've helped foster a whole new 'middle-class of broadcasters' in the community. As a result, we've seen our viewership surge more than 10x in the last quarter from approximately 66,000 unique viewers a month to more than 760,000 unique viewers (over 1 million page views) a month and climbing. We're excited about bringing a new standard of online dialogue as we unmute communication on the web."
Berkus adds, "Unlike most of the existing video products, which are inherently one-way broadcasting with a little feedback, Vokle is truly social video broadcasting, enabling everyone in the virtual room to ask questions live and interact with everyone else online. Plus, amazingly, Vokle is an app which enables it to be embedded in a user's blog, providing a live video event for any video blogger. It brings video into the mainstream of communication – not just entertainment or information."
Online broadcasters also weighed in on Vokle. Mark Watson, SoldierKnowsBest, one of the most active YouTube content providers, uses Vokle to engage and build his fan base. He stated, "Vokle lets me directly connect with my audience in the easiest way. Allowing me to talk face-to-face via webcam with the people who enjoy my content brings social interaction with my viewers to a more personal level. Vokle is the best online streaming site … PERIOD!"
Dane Sanders (www.danesanders.com), a motivational speaker and consultant, uses Vokle as a tool to build community. Sanders says, "There's nothing like Vokle in the marketplace. They get that there's more to community building than one-way broadcasts. Love them."
Jon Quach (WaffleJon), vlogger and YouTube producer, stated, "Although live streaming isn't a new thing on the Internet, there are aspects of Vokle that make it fresh, fun and exciting."
Vokle version 2.0 incorporates a series of user friendly tools that help broadcasters grow their online following, including Staff Picks, the Follow System and Promotional Suite. Staff Picks is an elegant broadcaster-centric frontage leaderboard to promote the highest trafficked and most relevant broadcasters. The Follow System is a one-click feature that allows users to follow their favorite broadcasters and be automatically alerted when a new virtual event is scheduled, and Promotional Suite is a simple-to-use, but robust messaging system that enables broadcasters to email messages to all of their Vokle followers in just a few clicks. These capabilities greatly enhance broadcasters' ability to promote their events and communicate with their followers in a simple, but powerful way.
Combined with the previous round of funding, TCA has lead a total investment in Vokle to date of $1.26 million. Vokle will use the current funds to continue audience development and user growth, to add staff and facilities.
Vokle provides an elegant, next generation interactive platform for broadcasters, bloggers or anyone wishing to reach an audience through live video dialogue. Speakers can easily broadcast to a virtual auditorium of viewers and take live video and text questions from the audience with a click of a button. Hosts have the option to assign staff roles to any attendee in the audience to help run the event. Roles include co-hosts to broadcast with the host, screeners to pre-screen video callers privately behind the scenes, and an editor to cut between live video streams for a more dynamic broadcast. Launched in December 2009, Vokle is a portfolio company of Tech Coast Angels, the nation's largest angel investor network. Vokle has been used enthusiastically by renowned influencers such as Imogen Heap, Al Gore, Arianna Huffington, Willow Bay, Sir Richard Branson and Tony Robbins to interact live with their audiences.
About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor network in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including clean technology, consumer products and services, digital and social media, financial services, hardware and software technologies, and life sciences and healthcare. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties). More information on investment with Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com, www.facebook.com/techcoastangels or twitter.com/techcoastangels.