Howcast is a new instructional video site launching today, founded by ex-Googlers Jason Liebman, Daniel Blackman and Sanjay Raman. The New York-based startup has raised a somewhat-staggering $8.5 million Series A round led by Tudor Investment Corp.
The site aims to provide high production quality how-to videos along with wiki guides, a broad range of categories, and a community section. Some examples of the most-viewed how-to videos on the site include, “How to Look Great in Photographs,” “How to Get Laid,” and “How to Extend the Life of Your iPod Battery.”
The site enters a growing market of instructional video sites, including 5min (profile), Sclipo (profile), VideoJug, and to some length Instructables. The amazing production value of videos on Howcast makes it stand out from some of its competitors, although with the fact that they accept user submissions this may no longer be the case in a few months of time.
One of the amazing things about the web is the number of people it can bring together around altruistic cause that helps the whole community. We’ve been seeing this ever since the early growth period of YouTube, and now recently with the rise of instructional sites. At core, it’s all about the community. If Howcast is able to use its investment wisely to build and grow a close community, along with keeping and maintaining the production quality that it does now, it has a real chance of surviving in the market and taking its ideal position of a YouTube for how-to videos.
As Eric Schonfield of TechCrunch reports, the site has already struck deals with MySpace, Verizon, FiOS TV, Joost, and JetBlue, which is an extremely positive sign for its future and no doubt it’s off to a great start. While competitors like 5min and VideoJug have great core communities, they’ve yet to hit the mainstream which is a space where Howcast can manage to prosper.