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YouTube Founders Debut MixBit App for Video Mashups, With No Business Model

Google-based startup formed by Chad Hurley and Steve Chen aims to 'democratize' video creation

YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who sold their site to Google for $1.7 billion, are back in the Internet video game with MixBit: an app that lets users string together video clips and share them online.

And as with YouTube, Hurley (pictured above, left) and Chen are launching their startup, AVOS Systems, without a defined business plan for how the free app might generate revenue.

AVOS, which counts Google among its investors, on Thursday released the MixBit mobile app that lets users record videos in up to 16-second chunks and then splice multiple clips together. The resulting videos can be shared on MixBit.com, as well as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr or a blog.

How will AVOS make money? It’s unclear. A rep for the startup said, “Right now, the focus is on creating a product and service that people love.”

YouTube, it’s worth noting, similarly lacked a biz model out of the gate and now generates billions of dollars in advertising for Google, which acquired it in 2006. YouTube in 2013 will account for some $5 billion of Google’s revenue, RBC Capital Markets estimates; Google does not break out financial results for the video site. And Facebook, Twitter and even Google itself also started life without specific monetization plans.

“We started YouTube to democratize video distribution. Now, we are democratizing video creation,” Hurley said in announcing the app. “Video is the most interesting and engaging way to share an idea with others. We want to remove barriers to video creation, while encouraging and enabling open collaboration. More than simply capturing brief moments in time, MixBit helps people bring stories to life.”

The MixBit app will compete to some extent with other video-sharing tools, such as Twitter’s Vine and Facebook’s Instagram. But the AVOS team says it’s a breed apart, allowing users to create videos that can include as many as 256 clips for about an hour in total length.

MixBit app is currently available for Apple iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch). At MixBit.com, visitors can make their own videos without shooting original content by remixing “public video clips” they find on the site, according to the company.

AVOS, based in San Mateo, Calif., is funded by Google Ventures, Innovation Works, Madrone Capital and New Enterprise Associates. Startup has not disclosed amount of funding raised. The company’s name stands for “Audio/Visual Operating System,” and also is a play on “voice.”

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