Announcing Unboxed: How Video is Changing the Way We Shop
Today we’re thrilled to take the wrapping off our startup, Packagd, a mobile platform creating a new shopping experience that combines the best unboxing videos with social viewing and the ability to buy seamlessly.
At Packagd, we believe that shopping should be fun. Where great ecommerce companies like Amazon are making shopping as efficient as possible, we aspire to make shopping as entertaining as possible by showcasing content that is equally informative, engaging, commercial, and creative: unboxing videos. Unboxers aren’t just creating some of the most popular product videos in the world, they are creating some of the most popular online videos of any kind in the world. It may be hard to believe, but the number one overall channel on YouTube for the past 40 consecutive weeks is Ryan ToysReview, a toy unboxing channel that is watched nearly 200 million times each week and is more popular than the video channels for Katy Perry, Buzzfeed, or even Dude Perfect.
Unboxing is a vibrant video category with passionate creators and loyal viewers, as well as product brands interested in connecting with both. With the likes of Twitch and eSports video for gaming, and Udemy and instructional videos for education, it’s time that unboxing videos get the platform they deserve built around a great shopping experience.
Our first mobile app launching today is called Unboxed (literally) and focuses on the latest tech gadgets, devices, and trends. Unboxed is collaborating with top YouTube tech creators like Austin Evans, Dom Esposito, Kevin Nether (Kevin the Tech Ninja), and many more, who are not only amazingly talented storytellers, but also bonafide gadget, electronics, gaming, and device experts. When you open the Unboxed app, you’ll see the best tech unboxing videos carefully curated into shows, and you’ll also have an opportunity to live chat with creators and influencers to get their expert advice. To make our in-app shopping experience even more seamless, we’re working with Best Buy to enable users to easily purchase products as they view videos on Unboxed.
And tech is only the beginning — later this year, we’ll be launching separate apps for the beauty and toys product categories.
My interest in the combination of video plus commerce has developed over many years. I’ve been involved in digital video for over a decade now, first as a founder of an online video startup before becoming the first CTO of Hulu (when they acquired my company). And in my current role leading the consumer venture investing practice at Kleiner Perkins, I’ve focused heavily on e-commerce innovations, where some of the best consumer startup successes have happened (including Dollar Shave Club, Jet, and Chewy).
The opportunity to further innovate in e-commerce through video is why Nick, Larry, Eden, Kai Ju, and I founded and incubated Packagd inside the basement of Kleiner Perkins. Since then, we’ve been fortunate to bring on Kirsten Green, founder of Forerunner Ventures, and MG Siegler of GV (formerly Google Ventures) as investors as well.
We’re convinced that it’s time for a video-inspired mobile ecommerce experience. Our reasoning? The total market for Packagd is enormous: e-commerce is a half trillion-dollar market in the U.S., and the leaders in video ecommerce — QVC and HSN — generate more than $12 billion in annual revenue. In the last three years, mobile e-commerce has grown 300%. Unboxing videos are enormously popular today, with an estimated 10 billion monthly views worldwide. And now more than ever, millennials are redefining their path to purchase by leveraging video or social influencers to inspire product discovery and purchases.
But numbers aside, as with most investment decisions, the most important reason to start Packagd was the team dedicated to this idea. My cofounders and I have started two previous companies together, we’ve worked together in various configurations at four other companies, and have known each other for more than a decade now. We love working together, building together, succeeding together, failing together, and most importantly dreaming together.
We hope that you’ll unwrap what we’ve built at Unboxed, and stick around to experience what we’re dreaming up next!
CEO of Packagd and General Partner at Kleiner Perkins
To learn more about Unboxed, here are some articles about our launch: