Inspired by the vast amounts of data from videos, photos, music, websites and blogs shared by the many friends and people they follow online and seeing how much time it takes to check all the content across many platforms, friends set out to come up with a solution and CHNL was born.
CHNL aggregates content from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, SoundCloud, Tumblr, Instagram and Flickr into one place making it fast, easy, and a beautiful way to discover content as well as to easily share it back out to my social networks, or engage in the conversation happening around that content.
TechZulu caught up with John Wander, Co founder and CEO of CHNL.
What is CHNL?
It’s a web app that pulls all the content from across your social networks and puts it in one place – your channel.
Where is it Based?
Silicon Beach (Santa Monica)
What Problem Does it Solve?
Fragmentation of content across many platforms — when I want content that has been curated by the people I follow across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, SoundCloud, Tumblr, Instagram and Flickr — it’s too many places to check.
CHNL aggregates it all into one place making it fast, easy, and a beautiful way to discover content as well as to easily share it back out to my social networks, or engage in the conversation happening around that content.
How Does it Work?
Step 1 — create your CHNL account with a username, email and password.
Step 2 — connect your social networks to CHNL
Step 3 — enjoy the content that has been pulled from across the networks you’ve connected.
Who is Behind CHNL?
A group of internet vanguards that have been involved with the internet for 12 years. John Wander – Co founder & CEO – angel investor, team member, advisor, and board member to several start ups. (Giantstep Angel Network, Ingrooves, Filtrbox (acquired by Jive), TrueChoice Solutions).
Jason Kadlec – INgroovesFontana – where Jason was the first employee. John met Jason at Ingrooves. Jason was an early employee at Topspin.
Ameet Mehta – Topspin. Jason met Ameet at Topspin.
What Inspired You?
We built CHNL because we love discovering videos, photos, music, websites and blogs that are shared to us by our friends and people we follow online. But we were going crazy checking too many different networks.The internet as a content delivery platform is the most exciting and inspiring. Every day, there are numerous examples of videos, articles, images, music that reach us via CHNL that simply don’t exist / could never exist outside of the internet.
In addition, Web 2.0 was a proliferation of user generated content which created the need for Web 3.0, the need for human organized content- curation. Web 3.0 is about pulling curated content to you from trusted sources. How cool is that? We love Web 3.0.
Which Languages is it been built on and how long did it take to build?
Any Funding Yet?
Yes – angel funded by Rod Perth (former CBS, CEO of NAPTE), Henrik Vanderlip of Viking Capital Partners, Gary Jacobs (former EVP and General Counsel of MGM/ Resorts) and several other angels. We are now beginning discussions for a Series A $5 million.
What is Your Business Model
We have plans for at least six different revenue streams that will be rolled out over the next three years. Our model has us at break-even in our second full year post launch (2014).
For competitive reasons, we don’t want to disclose this just yet.
Are You Alone in This Space?
There are other apps with overlapping features, but none so far as we are aware of have the exact same feature set, and simplicity of CHNL.
How Unique Are You?
We think we are very unique by our simple approach and our accessibility across every web enabled device. We are also working on a native experience.
Have You Had Any Challenges?
Yes! It was a big challenge to make our technology/product very simple and easy to use. We had to iterate several times on our private beta and even shelve some of the features until later.
Any Partnerships or Updates?
We just launched our public beta and are now beginning to have discussions regarding partnerships. We will be continuously pushing features and improvements on a weekly to bi-weekly basis and we share out to facebook.com/chnlapp and twitter.com/chnlapp the best content we have discovered via CHNL.
Why Social Networking?
76% of the online population in the US are on an average of at least 2 social networks. In India, Brazil and China its 3. Its a huge market.
Facebook is becoming the equivalent of Moore’s Law. Each year the amount of stuff that each individual shares is growing at this exponential rate. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-10-04/facebooks-next-billion-a-q-and-a-with-mark-zuckerberg#p2.
Of course this trend is not just on Facebook, but it exists across all the various platforms.
This means social networks are the new source of “filtering” — you can tune into a traditional media brand like ESPN, but you could also get incredible action sports from RedBull right next to your friend or co-worker who happens to really follow that space.
How private is CHNL?
At the moment, CHNL is like your own personal inbox of content – nobody else can see what you’re looking at.
How Many Users So Far?
We’re only 1 /1/2 weeks into our public beta launch so its way too early to measure. However we have over 1000 NEW users with only an email from our staff to their friends and some contacts. Our goal is to hit 30,000 new users by the end of the year and I’m very confident we will hit or surpass this number. Every day I get emails from friends who are using the product and “they love it”. Our team at CHNL is ALL about user experience. If we stay focused on this, people will love it and tell their friends. It’s only a matter of time before we should start to see some large numbers.