Many companies have started to feature animated videos on their website to help give an entertaining pitch on their service, but for those without internal expertise, outsourcing video creation to an agency can cost thousands of dollars. Argentinian Wideo’s new web platform is looking to give companies a DIY solution to creating animated videos, and launched in private beta last week. The company will be launching in public beta shortly to let anyone create an animated short video using its set of tools.
The company was recently accepted as the first Argentinian startup in the 500 Startups accelerator program, and will look to refine its product in time for demo day early next year. Wideo was co-founded by Agu De Marco, who prior to launching the company had been frustrated by both the number of options when it came to animated videos, and the learning curve for existing animation video tools.
“We realized that the only two ways to go about it, we could either pay someone a ton of money or learn software ourselves. We ended up hiring someone and giving them everything and that person ended up doing a video we didn’t like,” De Marco said in an interview. “So that idea stayed in my head, and I looked at it and said let’s do that, it was scalable and it seemed like it would solve a lot of problems for startups and communication.”
Using Wideo, users can choose their own images, background colors, videos, animations, and fonts, and then design and storyboard their video, choose animations and sounds, and edit in a click-and-drop manner to put together the video. The look and feel is akin to Prezi before the company recently relaunched with a new layout of its tools. Users then have a variety of sharing tools, and the ability to embed the video to their site. De Marco said the interesting part is that any image can be easily replaced, so whether it’s an animated figure or logo, users will be able to allow others to use their ‘wideeos’ as templates that can be quickly modified and changed accordingly.
The company will offer its services based on a freemium model, where anyone will be able to create on the platform for free, however, they’ll have to pay a monthly subscription if they want to do things like make their ‘wideos’ private, not have the company’s watermark, or download their creation.
“We will create a community and make it easy to share things so if you want to let others use your wideo as a template for others, it’s really easy to change from one object to another object. Just with one click you can change your logo and your text and that’s something we will really want to work on,” De Marco added. “Of course we want to make money but also if we can build a community of people who like to use Wideo as a way of communication, that’s going to be great.”
There are currently a handful of tools available to create animated content, including services like Xtranormal, GoAnimate, and PowToon focused on everyday users and professionals looking to put a new spin on demo videos and presentations. Wideo’s focus on serving the small business community, especially those too cash strapped to pay a creative studio, may help it set it apart, in addition to its community and template feature set, which could make the process easier than it might be already.
With demo day for 500 Startups in February, Wideo will have its work cut out for it, however, with the public beta launch later this month, it could very well have a steady community of users by that time. While companies with the budget will likely still turn to professional animated video companies like SwitchVideo to create their explainer videos, Wideo could find a niche among those looking for a DIY video solution.