WeVideo is an ambitious startup with Norwegian heritage. The cloud-based video editor is built on educational software technology from Oslo’s Creaza. Within a year of spinning out a new company and moving to Silicon Valley, WeVideo struck deals with Google and Disney, the latter allowing fans of The Avengers to remix their own movie trailers. They’ve now taken their product mobile, with the launch of what their PR calls an “iMovie competitor for Android”.
The new app syncs with an “online video creation environment”, enabling customers to capture video on a video camera or smartphone, edit their footage on any online computer, and collaborate with anyone, anywhere in the world. Videos created with the WeVideo Android app can be edited, trimmed, stylised and published from the phone, or saved to be edited at a later time.
“We’ve had a good reception and good reviews given the limited marketing”, says Bjørn Rustbeggard, co-founder and VP Product. “We’re working with new distributors to make the app available globally and adding full international language support to the product. We started with Android because we have a stronger position in the marketplace. There’s a lot of players in the iOS scene, so we want to establish ourselves as the premier editor on Android because there isn’t anyone in that position yet”.
The company is less than two years old, but Rustbeggard has been involved in the technology behind WeVideo for over a decade.
“WeVideo is the result of my passion for storytelling. In 2001 we made the first editing tool in a browser for kids, so these type of tools have been my way of doing what I love for a living for the last 12 years”, he says.
There’s much debate in Norway about the conditions for entrepreneurs, so as we chat in their anonymous Oslo office, I can’t help but probe the reasons for the move to the USA.
“I don’t think it’s a natural path at all” says Rustberggard, when I ask him if it’s inevitable Norwegian startups have to look abroad.
“It depends on the problems you are trying to solve. We want to democratise video based storytelling and that is not an Oslo, Norway thing, it’s a world thing. We need to be where we can access the world’s best innovators and the global markets, not just in America but also Asia. Things are moving a lot faster in the USA, not because there’s smarter people there, but because there’s less formality. Decision-making time is a lot shorter. Having said that, I think a lot of companies doing other things can have a big enough home market in the Nordics or Europe.”
A former IT Project Manager, David Nikel now works as a technology writer in Norway. He helps Norwegian companies communicate in English and reports on the entrepreneurial scene for ArcticStartup.