Pixpo gets financing

Mark’s column reminded me that I had been meaning to post something about the financings announced at mesh, including the seed capital that Michael Tippett and his team at NowPublic.com got (Michael was on a panel at mesh), and the $6.5-million combination of seed and venture capital that Colin How and the gang over at Pixpo.com recently got (Colin was one of our “15 Minutes of Fame winners). Coincidentally enough, both are based in British Columbia — which makes one wonder if Web 2.0 ideas flourish better in warm weather.

The funds for Pixpo came from Madrona Venture Group, a VC based in the Pacific Northwest that specializes in early-stage companies, as well as Canadian VC group GrowthWorks, a Canadian fund called Yaletown Venture Partners that focuses on Western Canada, and a Calgary-based early-stage fund called Springbank TechVentures (started by one of the early investors in MetroNet, which was sold to AT&T in 1999 for $7-billion).

Pixpo’s software — a modified version of “peer-to-peer” software — allows computer users to share their photos, music, video and other media without having to upload it all to some external site such as YouTube.com or Flickr.com. Instead, the user just leaves the photos or music or videos where they are, and gives outside Web surfers access to those files on the PC, while keeping that access secure enough that the user doesn’t have to worry about hackers messing around with other files.

Hosting all the files on your home PC can pose its own problems, however, including the strain that gets put on both the PC and your home Internet connection if your video clip of your cat falling into the bathtub happens to get linked on BoingBoing.net and millions of people try to access it at the same time. Mr. How says that Pixpo uses a combination of a modified P2P network and a hosted-server network so that if certain files become particularly popular, they can be cached or hosted on Pixpo’s own servers. He also said that in contrast to other streaming-media software such as Orb Networks, Pixpo is more flexible, faster and provides a better quality video feed.

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