(PEHub) Samba Tech, a distributor of online videos in Latin America, has raised US$3m in funding. The investor is José Augusto Schincariol. The capital will be used to bring the company’s newly launched mobile video app Kast to the U.S. Samba Tech’s previous backers include Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
Samba Tech, the largest independent distributor of online videos in Latin America, today launched Kast, the first free mobile video app in the U.S. designed to help businesses have more immediate and interactive team communication and collaboration. Secure and simple-to-use, Kast goes beyond traditional corporate communications tools like email, text and chat, allowing users to bring the rich, engaging benefits of audio and video posts directly to select teams and channels, both at the office and on the go.
Kast is initially launching in beta and can be downloaded for free on Android or iOS today.
Why Kast? Mobile video and messaging apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Vine have come to play a huge role in how consumers communicate today. Video allows them to convey emotion, tone and gestures, or share imagery and actions that other forms of communication can’t. And, it’s fun and hugely popular, with more than 10 million daily video views on Snapchat alone. Unfortunately, workplace collaboration apps such as Slack, and HipChat, have failed to keep pace with the demand for instant video creation and posting. Kast is filling that void for the modern worker by delivering the first enterprise collaboration tool that’s designed from the ground up for the mobile video and messaging age.
“Big companies don’t have a good way to engage with their employees. Many still use email or paper-based communication, but there’s no real interaction, they’re just receiving information. With Kast, sales, marketing, HR, engineering, support, leadership and more, can use video to create and capture dynamic moments and ideas, or to deliver corporate information in a fresh and engaging way,” said Gustavo Caetano, Founder and CEO of Samba Tech.
“We’ve been delivering high-quality video solutions for more than a decade. We’ve learned not just how powerful and popular mobile video messaging can be, but how to build a secure platform that works reliably at scale. Businesses should get ready to Kast.”
Whether sharing ideas for an upcoming brainstorm session or announcing a new sales program, Kast provides a range of useful features for enterprises and their employees, including:
Build a Profile and Invite Coworkers – Quickly register using a corporate email and build out a profile. Then connect with other teams and channels. Not finding a coworker on Kast? Send instant invites by inputting an email address or accessing mail from inside Kast.
Follow and Explore – Follow channels or coworkers and monitor the timeline for updates. Enable notifications or alerts for specific channels.
Easily Create Video and Audio Posts – Take video and audio recordings, up to two minutes in length and instantly share with team members. Comment on posts or share with others.
Create Your Own Channel – Quickly create public or private channels, and notify members with just a few clicks so you can start sharing immediately.
What’s Trending – Don’t have time to view all of today’s videos? Quickly see the most popular posts from your colleagues with the Trending tab.
Secure Sharing – Kast is working hard to protect users. All content is protected inside the app and is only accessible by colleagues with access. For more security information, click here (hyperlink).
Manage Teams and Content – With Kast Premium, organizations can take advantage of admin rights to manage users, channels, content and have more video storage space.
“Kast has the potential to become the corporate Snapchat, offering companies a secure, centralized and organized way for sharing activities, events and tasks from different times and regions through a multimedia application,” said Tom Mix Petreca, Solutions Engineer at Rackspace. “Testing Kast has been a fantastic opportunity to leverage mobile video with our LATAM-Brazil team to spur creativity, streamline mass communication and support community growth internally. We’re excited to share our experiences with the app company-wide.”
Kast’s video distribution capabilities are powered by Samba Tech’s proven and reliable video infrastructure and built on Microsoft Azure. Samba Tech’s collaboration with Microsoft is a driving force behind opening their new U.S. office in Seattle, located just miles from Microsoft’s headquarters.
“Video is an extremely demanding medium for content delivery and we’re proud to be working with SambaTech to help ensure customers have a powerful and reliable experience,” said Vahé Torossian, Corporate Vice President of Small, Midmarket Solutions & Partners (SMS&P) at Microsoft Corp. “Helping companies like Samba Tech evolve, scale and grow in the Microsoft Cloud is important to fostering a rich partner ecosystem.”
Samba Tech has also secured approximately USD $3 million (BRL R$10 million) in funding from investor José Augusto Schincariol to bring Kast to the U.S. The Brazillian billionaire sold his family’s namesake beverage company, Schincariol, to a Japanese group in 2011, and has been using the profits from the sale to support Brazillian technology companies.