Category: Greylock Partners

Gaming infrastructure startup Pragma raises $12M from Greylock, Mark Pincus and others



Pragma is building what it calls a “backend as a service,” providing ready-made infrastructure to developers of online, live service games. And it’s announcing today that it has raised $12 million in Series A funding.

The round was led by David Thacker at Greylock, with participation from Zynga founder Mark Pincus, Oculus founder Nate Mitchell and Cloudera founder Amr Awadallah, along with previous investors Upfront Ventures and Advancit Capital. Amy Chang, who sold her business intelligence startup Accompany to Cisco, is joining Pragma’s board of directors.

Co-founder and CEO Eden Chen told me that where Unity and Unreal have built popular frontend game engines, he and his co-founder Chris Cobb (former engineering lead at Riot Games) are hoping Pragma will fill the void for a “de facto backend game engine.”

And while “many companies tried to do this” over the past decade, Chen suggested that this is the right time to launch the platform, thanks to the continued rise of live service games (like League of Legends) that have to be treated as “living, breathing products,” as well as improved tooling around infrastructure platforms like Amazon Web Services.

Pragma screenshot

Image Credits: Pragma

Pragma is launching a starter kit today designed to allow developers to quickly set up and test game loops. Meanwhile, the broader platform is currently in private beta testing with studios including One More Game (started by started by Pat Wyatt, one of Blizzard’s first employees) and Mitchell’s Mountain Top Studios.

Chen said the platform’s features fall into three (Read more...)

Reduct.Video raises $4M to simplify video editing



The team at Reduct.Video is hoping to dramatically increase the amount of videos created by businesses.

The startup’s technology is already used by customers including Intuit, Autodesk, Facebook, Dell, Spotify, Indeed, Superhuman and IDEO. And today, Reduct is announcing that it has raised a $4 million round led by Greylock and South Park Commons, with participation from Figma CEO Dylan Field, Hopin Chief Business Officer Armando Mann and former Twitter exec Elad Gil.

Reduct was founded by CEO Pabhas Pokharel and CTO Robert Ochshorn (both pictured above). Pokharel argued that despite the proliferation of streaming video platforms and social media apps on the consumer side, video remains “underutilized” in a business context, because it simply takes so much time to sort through video footage, much less edit it down into something watchable.

As Pokharel demonstrated for me, Reduct uses artificial intelligence, natural language processing and other technologies to simplify the process by automatically transcribing video footage (users can also pay for professional transcription), then tying that transcript to the video.

“The magic starts there: Once the transcription has been made, every single word is connected to the [corresponding] moment in the video,” he said.

Reduct.Video screenshot

Image Credits: Reduct.Video

That means editing a video is as simple as editing text. (I’ve taken advantage of a similar linkage between text and media in Otter, but Otter is focused on audio and I’ve treated it more as a transcription tool.) It also means you can search through hours of footage for every time (Read more...)