Cinematique has a new CEO — investor and entrepreneur Paul Dawalibi.
The startup describes its product as enabling “touchable video.” In other words, when you’re watching a Cinematique-powered video, you can tap or click on different items to save them and learn more later, and in some cases buy the featured product.
Dawalibi (whose long résumé includes a stint as VC at the Canadian affiliate of Guy Kawasaki’s Garage Technology Ventures) said he was initially introduced to Cinematique as a potential investor.
“My initial reaction was, ‘God, this is so obvious,’” he said. “All videos are going to be touchable and shoppable. I just think there’s going to be no logical reason not to enable this on any branded video online.”
However, Dawalibi said the company’s investors asked him to do more than write a check — they wanted him to take over as chief executive. The goal, he said, is to “turn this into the next billion dollar business, put the whole thing on steroids.”
“We’re going to double down on existing companies where we do well, but also pursue new markets and all kinds of new partners,” he said. “We’re going to bring this to the masses in a bigger way.”
For example, Cinematique says it will explore expansion into industries like education, automotive, travel, lifestyle and home. To fuel these plans, the startup has also raised $1.4 million in additional funding led by Pumori Group, bringing its total funding to more than $6.8 million.
“I’m not the biggest proponent or fan of raising zillions of dollars as quickly as possible,” Dawalibi said. Instead, he’d like to see Cinematique hit some “key targets” before going out to raise a larger round in 12 to 18 months.
Co-founder Kyle Heller will continue in his role as chief strategy officer. Dawalibi described his relationship with Heller as “very symbiotic,” as Heller leads the product team in Los Angeles while Dawalibi builds out the sales and marketing efforts in New York.
“Paul’s commitment to our values and compelling strategic vision for the company is exactly what Cinematique needs as we enter our next chapter,” Heller said in the announcement. “I look forward to working alongside him and the rest of our team in my ongoing role as chief strategy officer.”