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Kondoot, Social Network Based on Live Video, Launches in U.S.

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When Mark Cracknell finished up his four years at university in Australia, he says he "wanted to do something cool." He brainstormed with friends and the result, eighteen months later, is Kondoot, a social networking site built around live video.

The site soft-launched in Australia three-and-a-half months ago. Now, the 21-year-old Bracknell and his team are in New York City promoting the U.S. launch. Kondoot offers free live streaming, video event scheduling, games, and more.

"The need is for an easy-to-use platform that combines a social experience with events and great content," Cracknell says, calling it the next generation social network. But he stresses that he isn't trying to compete with Facebook.

Kondoot's name is a play on "conduit," as the idea is to connect people. Registered users can stream privately to friends and family or open up their streams to everyone. Videos are recorded so they're accessible afterwards. The site has been used by people in 133 countries already.

Along with the U.S. launch, Cracknell is promoting a new scheduling feature that lets anyone create a scheduled event. Users have the option of charging for live video streams, which should be attractive to bands and musicians.

The site is privately funded and has raised $800,000 so far, largely through the Australian Small Scale Offerings Board. While in the U.S., Cracknell and his team will meet with venture capitalists in Silicon Valley.

So far, Kondoot's growth has been largely word-of-mouth, and Cracknell has been interested to see how people use it. He sees a broad potential market, whether young people chatting, bands offering backstage views of concerts, or speakers streaming seminars.

"We saw really great growth. We knew we had a really great product, but it's great to see people pick up and tell their friends and get the word out," Cracknell says.

When users said they wanted more fun activities to do on Kondoot, Cracknell and his team added games. He wants the users to decide how the site should grow.

The site makes money by taking a portion of paid event tickets. Games, while free on the site, cost money to play on the Kondoot mobile apps. Also, the developers plan to add advertisements in the next few months. Modeled on Facebook ads, they'll be small and will blend in with site content.

"We've always dreamed big," Cracknell says of his ride so far. Now it's up to the users to decide where Kondoot will go.

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