Tiny startup FlixMaster was founded by a husband-and-wife team who fled the high-cost Bay Area to bootstrap their company.Now, just a few months after the formal launch of the FlixMaster product, the company is starting to turn some big, powerful heads in the video-editing world.
Erika Trautman, an Emmy-nominated producer, and Cameron McCaddon, a video-game designer, left the Bay Area in 2011 to cut their living expenses so they could bootstrap FlixMaster. They landed a spot in the 2011 class of TechStars, a startup incubator, in Boulder, Colo.
The company’s goal is to make every video on the Net as interactive as a Web page. FlixMaster makes a cloud-based app that adds clickable links to a video, embeds a stream of tweets, and lets viewers control the on-screen actions of characters, among other features.
Today the company announced a deal with Sony’s Creative Software unit, which will promote FlixMaster’s enterprise-class tool to users of its professional video-editing software.
Like many cloud startups, FlixMaster offers anyone a free account. It charges $300 a month or $2,000 annually for a professional account, and more than that for an enterprise account. With the Sony deal, users get access to the enterprise FlixMaster tool for $20 a month during a trial period.
FlixMaster was used by NBCUniversal’s USA Network to create an interactive promo video for the TV show “Covert Affairs” called “Sights Unseen: A Covert Affairs Prequel.” The video let viewers direct the characters on screen.
One Kings Lane, the fast-growing home-furnishings retailer, is also a customer.
These high-profile successes are working. FlixMaster had about 3,000 users when it officially launched in July and account signups have doubled since then. Its cloud is hosting more than a thousand videos, which together have been viewed more than 230,000 times. It now has nine employees.
FlixMaster first gained our attention in March whe we named it one of seven cool Colorado startups to watch.