Editor's note: This is the first 500 Startups summer '11 company we are covering. Profiles of the other 20+ companies will be published in the coming days, and we will live blog Demo Day on Aug. 16.
WHAT: Writers upload their work for free proofreading and feedback from a community of editors in under 24 hours. Kibin [ @kibininc ] automatically converts the file into HTML on its proprietary platform so editors can easily add suggestions, corrections and edits. High-ranked reviewers can get paid for editing. When the paper is ready, Kibin emails the author to review it.
LAUNCHERS: Travis Biziorek, CEO [ @tbizi ]. Jim Nguyen, CTO [ @jimnguyen77 ].
INSPIRATION: “Frustration trying to get my friends to proofread and provide feedback on my law school applications' personal statement,” Travis told LAUNCH via email.
BUSINESS MODEL: Freemium. Most users opt for the free service, which requires editing another user’s paper to earn credits. If users need a guarantee that editing will be done in 24 hours or less, Kibin charges $0.01 per word.
CUSTOMERS/GROWTH: More than 1.9K volunteer editors.
INVESTORS: 500 Startups founder Dave McClure and 500 Startups.
The Kibin user profiles show individual reviewer levels -- six in total -- and current credits. Each document is assigned a credit value based on the number of words and cannot be edited if the user does not have enough points. Users can earn credits by reviewing papers in the "Earn Credits" tab. There, users see a list of the three highest priority papers.
To use Kibin's editing application, editors highlight the text and then can comment, modify or strike out the text.