State of Live-blogging Startups In Toronto – CoverItLive and ScribbleLive

Quick, what does Toronto have which Silicon Valley doesn’t ? How about not one, but two competing startups in the live-blogging space – CoverItLive and ScribbleLive. Both have great products and both have been in the news quite a bit over the past year, but CoverItLive has pulled way ahead of its local competitor.

CoverItLive had its (in)famous outage at the MacWorld last year, but then recovered after that and recently raised $1.2 million in seed funding from investors including Paul Kedrosky. It has been used by various national media outlets, among other mainstream publishers/bloggers/etc and more recently I noticed Globe and Mail live-blogged the Oscars on their website using CoverItLive’s product. They have a three member team, and the seed funding would give them some room to grow, though given their success to date, it is surprising that they raised such a small amount. A Series-A round of $5-$10 million atleast would have seemed more suitable in their case. In anycase, CoverItLive has a great product being used widely, and is one of the hottest startups in town.

On the other hand, there is the bootstrapped ScribbleLive, which with its two-member team shot into the limelight last year at the Mesh conference when it got blogged about on TechCrunch. Earlier on the key difference between the two products was that CoverItLive’s product could be embedded in webpages, while ScribbleLive required the live bloggers to use its website. But now, ScribbleLive has closed that gap and also offers an embed option. 

Feature parity to some extent doesn’t seem to be enough though, as looking at the unique monthly visitor charts, it is clear that CoverItLive has pulled way ahead, with 1.5 million unique visitors in Jan, compared to ScribbleLive’s 15k. Seems like unfortunately a shake-out is due in Toronto’s nascent live-blogging space.