€500k investment for new photo and video-discovery app Tapastreet

25 Sep 2013

Joe Mitchell, co-founder and CEO, Tapastreet, and Dawn Guiney from Kernel Capital. Image via Jason Clarke Photography

Tapastreet, an early-stage photo and video-discovery app targeted at helping people crowdsource multimedia while social networking has secured an investment worth €500,000 via the Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund and Enterprise Ireland.

Ex-Googler Dave Johnson, ex-Intel engineer Joe Mitchell and Kathryn Tunney, one of the original angel investors in Tapastreet, established the Dublin-based start-up last year.

Johnson is now chief operating officer (COO), Mitchell is CEO and Tunney is chief marketing officer at Tapastreet.

Via the fund, Kernel Capital led the €250,000 investment, with Enterprise Ireland injecting the remaining €250,000 funding into Tapastreet.

The start-up is now set to leverage the funding to take its media crowdsourcing app to the next level in order to capitalise on the explosion of social media usage via mobile devices that’s happening across the globe.

Tapastreet has developed Android and iOS versions of its app, which the company unveiled at TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 in San Francisco California, two weeks ago.

According to the co-founders, Tapastreet will allow users of the smartphone app to see and share what is happening at any location worldwide in terms of multimedia.

Users of the Tapastreet app will be able to access in real-time media such as videos or photography that have been uploaded to social networks.

Speaking to Siliconrepublic.com this afternoon Johnson said that the company is in “stealth mode”. He said that the start-up now has five developers and three interns working on its app development.

Johnson, incidentally, was formerly head of Google’s AdSense for EMEA between 2004 and 2008. That was before he left Google in 2008 to embark on a career as a consultant to start-ups.

And it was last year that he decided to pool his expertise along with Tunney and Mitchell to co-found Tapastreet.

So what type of social-media platforms is Tapastreet looking to mine multimedia data from?

While the social media giant that is Facebook might be the first one to come to mind, this platform is currently not coming under the team’s radar.

Instead Johnson said that Tapastreet is zeroing in on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and the California-based mobile video-sharing platform Viddy.

Divining into the academic ecosystem to innovate its technology

Tapastreet is also working with academia via an EU industry-academia fund through its FP7 programme. The goal of this research is to come up with new algorithms for its Android and iOS app, homing in on features such as artificial intelligence (AI).

The company has developed a joint research project with Trinity College Dublin and the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon (INSA) in France.

The aim of this EU-funded project is to develop advanced image synthesis techniques and location-based AI machine-learning algorithms. The ultimate goal will be to integrate these AI algorithms into Tapastreet’s app down the line.

Crowdsourcing media on social networks

Mitchell also said today that the company is “thrilled” to be part of Ireland’s current innovation climate.

Enterprise Ireland’s John O’Dea, who manages HPSUs (high-potential start-ups), described Tapastreet as a business that has the scope to be a “game-changer” in the realm of mobile content discovery.

“Entrepreneurial companies like this are hugely important to the Irish economy and we look forward to working with them as they grow their business,” he said.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic