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Over the years, entrepreneur Raamayan Ananda felt like social media platforms were not built for community co-creation and incentive alignment. That prompted him to build Veme as a new kind of social network.

It’s a Web3-powered short-form social video network, built for communities. Veme uses AI tools to convert text into viral, culturally relevant short-form video memes.

“We’re a social media network built for communities. Basically, we’re filling in the gap where social video has become the predominant medium of cultural exchange engineering today. About 90% of internet traffic is going to be video this year,” Ananda said.

Social networks like Reddit have done well with text-focused communities, but Veme is more like a cross between TikTok and Reddit, where video meets social community discussion.

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“Where is the short form video for communities?” Ananda said.

Origins

Raamayan Ananda is CEO of Veme.

Ananda served on the board of the Social Venture Circle, a 30-year impact investment organization that has stewarded over $250 million in impact-related projects.

In 2013, Ananda cofounded Unify, a meditation platform to bring millions of people together in global synchronized meditations for world peace. It has launched more than 70 global synchronized campaigns and has evolved into network with two million subscribers. Some accomplishments have included breaking the Guinness Book of World Records title for world’s largest online meditation and reaching over 6 billion views in 180 countries.

At its peak, Unify reached 300 million impressions per month across its media ecosystem. Ananda helped bring together luminaries such as Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Mooji, Mike Tyson, Russell Brand, Prince EA and many more into collective livestreams. Ananda’s family business has developed over $2 billion worth of real-estate worldwide, including Marriott Executive Apartments, Infinity Towers, W Hotel and the Sony Aquaverse Waterpark.

Meanwhile, he was an early investor and believer in Bitcoin and Ethereum, and has spoken at conferences worldwide on the future of decentralized communities. He worked pre-Bitcoin with monetary luminaries such as Michael Linton to pioneer the future of credit, and is now launching Veme.

The company started in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic. Ananda was running Unify with a Facebook community of two million members. It was getting around 100 million views a month. But the platform had its limitations, holding Unify from reaching its own users. Ananda observed communities are based on interests, not just purely based on kind of algorithms.

Making Veme

Veme wants to enable social discussion over video.

The company has raised $2 million so far in two rounds of token sales. The company is closing a $2 million venture round now.

“It’s all about community engagement and retention. Inside your communities, you can create debates, discussion, AMAs. You can have videos, reply to videos. You can play social media, video games. If you’re a fitness influencer, you can post daily challenges to community on who does the best push ups, the best workouts. Everybody can post their content. Not to the global feed, but into their communities.”

The company built an AI video meme generator. Veme has a decentralized public library with thousands of clips that people can use to immediately create content and share their views. Users can fight each other in meme battles using short form social video.

Admins or mods of the community can choose prompts for the community. An AI model can auto generate prompts for community members or people can type their own. If you’re in a cat community, you can share your own cat moment of the day. You can add your own clips to a clip library. You can write a prompt for AI to generate a scenario and it will automatically generate one for you.

“That’s where the name comes from the video meme. We’ve created a video meme generator, and we’re going to continue to build out the technology for that. You can auto generate video memes and turn them into a primary methodology for communication.”

Veme is exploring different formats for video with users. Leaderboards surface the most popular vemes.

So far, Veme has had good traction. It has sold $1.1 million in non-fungible token sales, with $800,000 closed in its first round for its seed token. It has raised $1.4 million in a token private sale, and it has more than 40,000 Twitter followers.

Veme is raising $2 million.

The team includes Duke Jones, CTO; Marchiano Loen, chief product officer; and Sebastian Roberts, COO. Investors include Michael Birch, founder of Bebo Social Network; Ted Field, founder of Interscope Records; Charles Wismer of Ledger Leap; Ross Fujii, former CTO at Cisco; and Alex Kelly, cofounder of Casper.

Blockchain is integrated into Veme in a couple of ways. One is through decentralized advertising, where the company puts advertising into smart contracts where it has real transparency. It splits advertising revenue with the community members. It’s like a tipping and rewards system for the community.

The Veme social platform is in beta testing, and it will likely launch in September. Thousands of users have used it so far.

At Unify, Ananda worked with Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins and Oprah Winfrey. Each one of them treasured hearing voices in their communities. But it was hard to get that on Facebook. With video, you can hear someone’s voice and see that person’s face. That’s so much more powerful, Ananda said. That kind of feedback is easy to give on a platform like Veme, he said. That’s how people can become bigger voices within a community.

The company is currently raising a $2 million private round ($37.5M valuation) from investors including Diode VC, Arcadia Group and Ridgecrest Capital Partners. Other big rivals are already wed to their formats, so Ananda does not expect much competition soon.

Right now, people comment on Vemes that are posted by creating text responses. But Ananda said the team is trying out video threading and other solutions.

“One thing that we found is that the the most sticky platforms are the ones that actually enable community,” he said. “The good thing about our platform is that our job is to onboard communities, and bring in communities to come use the app and create incentive programs for them to use us. If we do our job right, we’ll get an organic traction to make this really go viral on its own.”

The beta will go live in June or so.


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