Chute: Announcing Y-Combinator 2012

We’re excited to launch the official Chute blog with some great coverage of our not-so-secret launch.  Chute has been hard at work, both as part of the Y Combinator Winter 2012 class and throughout the prior year, to build the leading mobile and web platform for photos and video.  We’re obviously excited to be part of Y Combinator and to demonstrate the Chute platform and SlideChute, one of our applications, to the public.  We’ll let this TechCrunch piece do some of the talking for us:


Chute, a new Y Combinator startup launching today, doesn’t just want to be another photo sharing or syncing app, it wants to be the service every app developer and content producer uses to manage and enhance their photo capabilities. Chute is an Images-as-a-Service startup or, in other words, a cool API for photos. What does that mean?


Every time a developer or a site owner wants to build photo functionality into their app or website, they’re essentially forced to re-invent the wheel. Mobile developers aren’t always familiar with the ins-and-outs of web development, just as the same can be said for web developers, so Chute has built a system that works for both, handling the entire backend environment for uploading, processing, authenticating, resizing, and serving images.


This means big savings for developers, both in terms of time and money, as they don’t have to worry about managing servers, scaling, or dealing with multiple third-party APIs. Another way to think of Chute says co-founder Ranvir Gujral: “It’s like Twilio for photo infrastructure.”


If, for example, you’re running a popular website and you want all of your users to be able to have profile images, you can sign up for Chute and paste a few lines of code into your application, and that’s it. Users will then be able to upload images to Chute’s servers, where they will be cropped, re-sized, etc. according to your specifications, before being served onto your site.


Obviously, because Chute removes the pain of having to deal with code and servers for image hosting, the service is particularly useful for mobile developers, who, depending on their setup, may be able to cut the cord on servers altogether. What’s more, the startup allows developers to offer user authentication via the traditional username and password method, or to login through Facebook or Twitter, which means that if a developer’s app or service doesn’t already offer user accounts, they don’t have to build that functionality to host user-generated content. Pretty cool.


The value prop also applies to big online publishers, as the startup’s service comes with something called SlideChute included, which is essentially their own user-generated content management system. Because the startup’s service is driven primarily through APIs which work the same for mobile as they do for the Web, publishers are safe in the knowledge that if they start out as a Web property and their users create and upload a bunch of profile images, when they later release a mobile app, all user images are transported seamlessly into the mobile experience.

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categories: News