Chandigarh-based online presentation sharing platform and Slideshare competitor authorSTREAM has closed its first round of funding, the round was by angel investor Rajan Anandan, who was managing director of Microsoft India till August 2010. The amount was not disclosed.
"The plan is to add more developers and resources as well as spend on marketing activities," said Harbir Khurana, co-founder, authorSTREAM.
authorSTREAM is a spin-off from authorGEN Technologies, the first Indian company in which Anandan invested in 2006. He exited in 2008 when Educomp acquired 51% stake in authorGEN for $8.7 million. Anandan said, "Founders Harman and Harbir have built superb online teams in India. Their first venture out of authorGEN, WiZiQ.com is one of the most successful online learning platforms in the world. There are 300 million PowerPoint users in the world and I am confident that authorSTREAM will have well over 50 million users in a few years." Anandan has joined the board of directors of the company.
authorSTREAM offers an online presentation sharing platform - it enables executives to share their Microsoft PowerPoint presentations across blogs, websites, social networks, on YouTube and on devices like iPods and iPads. The platform retains graphics as created, keeping animations, sound and video intact. The platform was launched in 2009 when still a part of authorGEN Technologies and authorSTREAM was spun off in March 2010.
authorSTREAM is up against global leader SlideShare, which first launched in October 2006. "Slideshare is our direct competition - what they were initially doing was offering screenshots of presentations and have since moved on to documents, PDFs. Whereas we believe there is clearly a demand in presentations and will focus only on them," said Khurana. Another competitor is Slideboom.
According to Khurana, 70,000 of the company's 5 million users are users who upload presentations on a monthly basis, with an average of 1-2 presentations per month per person.
PowerPoint will be the primary focus of the company and Anandan's Microsoft experience will help, said Khurana, but the company is also planning to port the platform to Microsoft Office for Mac and Keynote, Apple's own presentation creating application. It will release an updated version of its desktop application next month.
The company is betting on exclusive partnerships such as the one with TiE so all presentations given on TiE in the year will be available on authorSTREAM.