Not many startups can make a launch announcement on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, like Airtime did in the wee hours of today, but then not many of them have Airtime’s heritage. The new video chat platform was founded by Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning and has a star-studded list of investors.
The basic idea is that users log in with Facebook, and Airtime suggests people with whom they might enjoy a conversation. Parker (pictured, left), Fanning (pictured, right) and Fallon explain further in the video clips below.
Unlike the infamous Chatroulette, Airtime gives users some control over their spontaneous social interactions based on what Facebook knows about them. Some of the available filters include location, common interests and whether users have any friends in common.
“The service allows you to share live experiences through content, and expand beyond your social graph to discover new people through similar interests in an environment that is collaborative, fun and safe,” the service’s page explains.
Last month Airtime closed a $25 million third round of financing led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Accel Partners, Google Ventures, and Social + Capital. Other Airtime investors include Founders Fund, SV Angel, Yuri Milner, Ashton Kutcher, will.i.am, Scott Braun and TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington
Airtime – launch blog post
New York Times – Airtime Adds to a Growing Choice of Video Chat Services