Tuesday, February 19, 2008

doubleTwist Launches Platform to Help Consumers Liberate Their Digital Media

doubleTwist Corporation, a company devoted to helping consumers liberate their media, unveils its initial product offerings and announces the close of its Series A venture funding from Index Ventures and Northzone Ventures.
Founded in March 2007 by Monique Farantzos and Jon Lech Johansen (also known as DVD Jon), doubleTwist's mission is to enable consumers to enjoy their digital media on the widest possible range of devices. Although the explosive adoption of CE devices has enabled any consumer to create and consume digital media, the process of sharing and moving media between the desktop and various devices such as mobile phones, gaming platforms and set-top boxes has become increasingly painful. doubleTwist is addressing this pain point by empowering consumers to easily share, consume and sync audio, video and photos regardless of device, file format or social network.

"When you receive an email, you can read it on your Blackberry, web mail, or Outlook. E-mail just works. With digital media such as video from a friend's cell phone or your own iTunes playlists, it's a jungle out there. It can be an hour-long exercise in futility to convert files to the correct format and transfer them to your Sony PSP or your phone," said Monique Farantzos, co-founder and CEO of doubleTwist.

"The digital media landscape has become a tower of Babel, alienating and frustrating consumers. Our goal is to provide a simple and well integrated solution that the average consumer can use to eliminate the headaches associated with their expanding digital universe."

doubleTwist is introducing a complete solution for sharing media between friends and family as well as syncing content to popular devices. The initial doubleTwist product offerings include doubleTwist desktop, an application featuring an intuitive interface for sharing, consuming and syncing personal media; and "Twist me!," a social network application that allows users to share media directly from their profile pages. The beta release enables consumers to share media with their Facebook friends and provides sync support for the Sony PSP, Nokia N Series, Sony Ericsson Walkman & Cybershot phones, LG Viewty, and Windows Mobile smart phones such as those from HTC and Palm. Apple iPhone users will soon be able to view content they receive from friends by accessing doubleTwist from their phone's Safari browser.

The desktop application, which currently works on Windows XP or Vista, is available as a free download at http://www.doubletwist.com/. A Mac OS version of the desktop application is expected in Q2 2008. Support for additional devices will be added to doubleTwist desktop on a regular basis and consumers are encouraged to request integration with their favorite devices at doubleTwist.com.

With doubleTwist desktop, sharing content is as easy as dragging and dropping files to friends. Users simply select the friends they want to share photos, audio or video with and doubleTwist transparently uploads the files and notifies recipients of their availability.

doubleTwist has developed a "plug and play" solution for transferring and syncing media to supported devices. When a user connects a digital camera, mobile phone or PSP, media files are found and displayed on doubleTwist desktop. Users select the media they wish to transfer and the application transparently handles any necessary format conversions. The application also integrates with iTunes, allowing users to sync their music playlists and iTunes music purchases with their Sony Ericsson, Sony PSP, Windows Mobile, LG Viewty, Nokia N series phones and Amazon's Kindle.

"We've built a format agnostic solution that handles the complexity of file and device compatibility so consumers don't have to," said Jon Lech Johansen, founder and CTO.

"We are exited about our partnership with doubleTwist," said Index Ventures Partner, Neil Rimer. "doubleTwist has created a simple yet powerful solution for a growing consumer issue. Consumers will no longer tolerate having their digital media tied to a single device or platform. We believe they want the flexibility of managing media using their preferred tools, purchase content in the store that offers them the best value, and enjoy their media on the device that offers the best playback experience. doubleTwist's ability to liberate every consumer's media should make it a hugely popular application."

About doubleTwist Corporation

doubleTwist Corporation is focused on simplifying the digital media experience and helping consumers liberate their media. The company's flagship product -- doubleTwist desktop -- allows any user to easily transfer, share and sync across popular devices and among social networks. Based in San Francisco and Oslo, doubleTwist was founded by Jon Lech Johansen (also known as DVD Jon) and Monique Farantzos and is backed by Index Ventures and Northzone Ventures.

About Index Ventures

Index Ventures has been active in technology venture investing since 1996. The firm is dedicated to helping great entrepreneurial teams in the information technology and life science sectors build their companies into market-defining global leaders. The firm has offices in Geneva, London and Jersey. Index Ventures is an active investor in the consumer internet sector and recent investments in this space include Last.fm (CBS), the online social music revolution and Stardoll, the celebrity doll dress-up site for girls. Other landmarkinvestments include Betfair, the world's largest betting exchange, Skype (eBay) and MySQL (Sun Microsystems), and Genmab, one of the largest antibody pharmaceutical companies in the world. For more information, please visit http://www.indexventures.com/.

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