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Justin Kan

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Justin Kan

Justin Kan
Justin Kan in 2007
Born 1983 (age 31–32)

Justin Kan (born 1983) is an American Internet entrepreneur and investor.[1] He is the co-founder of live video platforms and TwitchTV, as well as the mobile social video application Socialcam.[2] He is a partner at venture capital firm Y Combinator.[3] His attempt to broadcast his entire life at popularized the term "lifecasting".

He also contributes to the technology news site TechCrunch[4] and co-founded Kiko Software, the first ajax based online calendar, with Emmett Shear.[5] Kan graduated from Yale University in 2005 with degrees in physics and philosophy.

In 2007, Justin Kan and partners Emmett Shear, Michael Seibel and Kyle Vogt, started, a 24-7 live video feed of Kan’s life, broadcast via a webcam attached to his head.[6]

Kan’s “lifecasting” lasted about eight months. The novelty of Kan's concept attracted media attention, and resulting interviews with him included one by Ann Curry on the Today Show. Viewers accompanied Kan as he walked the streets of San Francisco, sometimes involved in both pre-planned events (trapeze lesson, dance lesson) and also spontaneous situations (being invited into the local Scientology center by a sidewalk recruiter).

Afterward, the company decided to transition to providing a live video platform so anyone could publish a live video stream., the platform, launched in 2007[7][8] and was one of the largest live video platforms in the world with more than 30 million unique users every month. was closed on August 5, 2014, in an effort to focus further on's parent company, Twitch (website).[9][10][11]


After launched in 2006, the site quickly began building subject-specific content categories like Social, Tech, Sports, Entertainment, News & Events, Gaming and others. Gaming, in particular, grew very fast and became the most popular content on the site.[12]

The company then decided to spin off the gaming content under a separate brand at a separate site. They named it TwitchTV, inspired by the term twitch gameplay. It launched officially in public beta on June 6, 2011.

Twitch.TV was acquired by in August 2014 for $970 Million.[13][14]


Socialcam launched March 7, 2011.[15] Socialcam is a mobile social video application for iPhone and Android. It allows users to capture and share video online and on mobile, as well as via Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. On July 17, 2012, Autodesk agreed to acquire Socialcam for $60M.[16]

The application has eclipsed 2 million downloads and has continued to add features list, most notably with the addition of video filters.[17]


Justin Kan launched Exec (errand service) on February 29, 2012, a new service to allow anyone to outsource anything you want for $25/hour. Exec was co-founded with his brother Daniel Kan, former head of UserVoice business development, and Stanford graduate Amir Ghazvinian.[18]

Exec was purchased by Handybook, a company founded by Oisin Hanrahan, Umang Dua, Ignacio Leonhardt, and Weina Scott, in an all stock transaction January 2014.[19]

Y Combinator

Kan became a partner at Y Combinator in March 2014, where he offers advice to the new startups in each batch.[20] He was a member of the first batch of YC-funded startups in 2005 for Kiko Calendar, and was funded by YC again for[3] and Exec.[21]


  1. ^ Hutcheon, Stephen (2009-06-15). "One man and a cam - web - Technology". Melbourne: Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  2. ^ Friday, February 18th, 2011 (2011-02-18). "'"Socialcam: A Look At's Upcoming 'Instagram for Video. TechCrunch. Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  3. ^ a b "Y Combinator’s latest partners are also alums". VentureBeat. 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  4. ^ "Justin Kan Posts on TechCrunch". Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  5. ^ "Kiko | CrunchBase Profile". Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  6. ^ Guynn, Jessica (2007-03-30). "IT'S JUSTIN, LIVE! ALL DAY, ALL NIGHT! / S.F. startup puts camera on founder's head for real-time feed, and a star is born". Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  7. ^ RSS Feed for Liz Gannes Email Liz Gannes Liz Gannes (2007-10-02). " Wins Funding, Opens Platform — Online Video News". Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  8. ^ Chris Pirillo (2009-04-30). "Grab a webcam and give lifecasting a try". CNN. Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  9. ^ "Goodbye from". Justin.TV. 2014-08-05. Retrieved 2014-08-16. 
  10. ^ Machovech, Sam (2014-08-05). "Streaming video site announces closure effective immediately". Arstechnica. 
  11. ^ Popper, Ben (2014-08-05). ", the live video pioneer that birthed Twitch, officially shuts down". The Verge. 
  12. ^ "Live-streaming site buffing up for e-sports channels". VentureBeat. 2011-03-10. Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  13. ^ "Letter from the CEO".  
  14. ^ Lanxon, Nate (2014-08-25). "Amazon buys Twitch streaming service". Wired. 
  15. ^ "TwitchTV:’s killer new esports project". The Next Web. 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  16. ^ Tam, Donna (July 17, 2012). "Autodesk to buy Facebook favorite Socialcam for $60M". CNET. Retrieved July 23, 2012. 
  17. ^ Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 (2011-10-05). "Socialcam Crosses 2M Downloads, Adds (Wait For It…) Video Filters!". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  18. ^ "Justin Kan Launches Exec For Real-Time Mobile Jobs". Forbes. 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2012-06-27. 
  19. ^ "Handybook Buys Exec in a Deal for the On-Demand World". The New York Times. 2014-01-15. Retrieved 2014-01-15. 
  20. ^ Graham, Paul (2011-06-13). "Welcome Sam, Garry, Emmett, and Justin". Y Combinator Posterous. Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  21. ^ "Justin Kan Launches Exec For Real-Time Mobile Jobs". Forbes. 2012-02-29. 

External links

  • Justin Kan's Blog
  • Blog 'A really bad idea'
  • Justin Kan: video interview for Princeton Startup TV
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