Portal, an ad-free social video app, has officially launched to the public and announced it has closed a $4.2 million seed funding round. The money was reportedly raised from investors including Mark Cuban, Day One Ventures and Social Start.
Portal, which launched in beta in June, is a new video-streaming platform taking on the likes of YouTube and Vimeo. The app allows content creators to receive monetary compensation directly from users who subscribe to their channel. It also allows viewers to “tip” creators for the videos they watch.
The company was founded by CEO Jonathan Swerdlin, who told Crunchbase News that Portal was inspired by the “mobile tipping phenomenon” in Asia.
“[Payments] are now just as easy in the West as they are [in Asia],” he was quoted as saying. “It’s just that a lot of companies have become so addicted to the ad model that they are not exploring these other models.”
In eliminating the ad model, Portal hopes to give people the chance to create content with the support of their followers rather than rely on advertisers. The app is currently only available on iOS.