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FerretVideo team has launched a game creator that you can use for any video; it functions on most of the popular platforms with video-content. The technology was already used in joint projects with A1, AXE, Winstrike and others. “And this is just the beginning” — tells us Nikita Zabolotsky, the CTO of the team. He told Startup Jedi about the main feature of the technology and the company’s plans for attracting investments.
We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.
We created a platform for video analysis and for the process of adding interactive elements to them. It consists of two parts: a neuronetwork for searching objects in the frame and a system for adding interactive elements.
In the downloaded video, we can observe what and when happened, how the object’s location and other metrics have been changed. For example, you can add tags on objects and characters, clickable elements, diagrams and many other things. In the video, it is possible to highlight any particular object with strokes, brightness, colors or make them clickable.
With the help of tracking, we add interactive elements to the video in a way they do not cover heroes and characters. As we have various mods, this gives us a possibility to show interactive and augmented elements only when a person interacts with them. If a person isn’t interested in the interaction, they can watch the content as usual.
The kill-feature of our system is the fact that ready interactive videos can be displayed on the most popular platforms. The content created with the help of our platform can be shared on YouTube, Facebook, VK and other traffic sources. Other solutions to expand the capabilities of video content require a special type of players, which means that you won’t be able to publish the result easily and widely.
This feature has already been rewarded. We got a reward from FutureNow awards 2019 (Bratislava, Slovakia), a reward from BISPO awards 2019 (Moscow, Russia), a prize from the “100 ideas for CIS” contest (Minsk, Belarus), a reward from the local Seedstars contest (Ecublens, Switzerland). In addition, we’ve received the title of the best startup in the cybersport industry in Russia 2019 and offers from several accelerators from the US and EU.
The system of video analysis works in real-time, so we can work with live-streams. Currently, we are working on a joint project with eSport teams.
We added tags on videos with products for one big Polish retailer. By clicking on an item, the consumer was able to see the information about the product and points of sale. For VOKA TV we created a game out of the basketball live-stream. It was possible to collect the currency in that game, which later A1 exchanged to the real money and donated to charity.
We also have many released projects but unfortunately, we cannot tell about them as we signed the NDA with companies.
Our company is already two years old and officially we are based in Poland. On average, we release two or three projects monthly. Together with the active development of the product, this is a fairly large load for the team.
Developing the interactive for the client looks like this: the client sends us the link to the video, we analyse it, define the key moments and choose the gamification mechanism which suits the video the best. Then we give the mockup back to the client, and after the agreement, we launch the gamification process and report about the results. Usually, clients stay with us for more than a year, so the first game becomes a template and other games are just suited to this template.
We already have our regular customers, for whom we created a few solutions. In particular, we cooperate with the Polish branch of Procter & Gamble. The average price of one new solution that is customized for the client is ranging from $2000 to $5000. This income allows us to outweigh the costs and work without losses.
To accelerate growth, we pack our solution in service by a subscription. You can download your video, add the desired interactives and get the result. You won’t need to contact us directly — users will receive a ready-made constructor. We focus the service on small and medium-sized businesses and plan to set a subscription price in the range of thousands of dollars per month.
We are also negotiating about the integration with big video-hostings. We are masterminding API for them. Technologies allow us to do that, we just need some adjustments.
The best channel for client attraction is conferences. There we can show a product’s demo and establish personal contacts. In this case, the communication is more close-ranged. Although, the communication in LinkedIn turns into a meeting in 10% of cases.
It is early days to talk about the competitors — startups that create the same product we treat as colleagues. Together, we raise the market of interactive videos and increase the demand for this product. The real competitor will appear at the moment when one of the platforms will implement a solution, which is similar to ours.
In the beginning, we conducted a competitive analysis and found more than fifty companies around the world, doing something in the field of interactive videos. Then it turned out that they are our potential clients, not the competitors. As we give the solution that can be implemented and which allows improvement of the working service.
At the moment, we have 7 full-timers workers on the project in an allotment team. Among them, there are developers and product sellers. We sell our product in Europe and Russia. I manage sales and product implementation for European clients while our CEO manages processes on the Russian market.
In the USA, we are represented by a company-partner. It connects to the deal at the moment of selling, when there is already a client who is ready for negotiations. And then it supports product implementation. We found this company when we started negotiating with the Russian branch of Disney, at the very beginning of work on our project. We got acquainted with the industry specialist from the US, who helped us to get feedback from another big market player. So he got so interested in our project, that his company started working with us.
Sergey Manukevich is a highly talented engineer who manages the developers’ team. He masterminded the neural core of our product. We keep technical capabilities secret, we even started signing the NDA with investors, if we have to show what is “under the hood”.
The author of the whole idea of FerretVideo and the main driver of the team is CEO (and my mother) Helena Zabolotskaya. She has amazing abilities and knowledge on how to build a team, energize it, and give out more new ideas. She has already built a successful IT-company; its specialists from time to time help us to solve problems, considering project development. It happened that from the very birth of the FerretVideo idea, I was involved in the project, as it was discussed in the family circle. When I obtained enough competence, I joined the team.
Is it comfortable to work with your mother? It is comfortable to work with professionals who share with you common goals. And it is the sense of the team in general. But on the other side, of course, there are many risks. It is pretty hard for a startup, which is in the zone of uncertainty and walks the death valley when all the eggs are in one basket. Therefore, it is a great responsibility. You have to make money, and you have to make sure that people feel comfortable themselves. You need to start selling your products quickly.
A Huge Thing acceleration gave us access to the European market. We’ve received many offers from various accelerators but not all of them were suitable for us. One of the goals of the acceleration in Huge Thing was to introduce startups to corporate partners of the accelerator. Procter & Gamble selected us and we have an active partnership now.
Sales are another trick from the accelerator. They helped us a lot in this direction. They also taught us how to maintain meetings and conduct negotiations. We met a lot of professionals, who supported us in many aspects of project development, such as business development and UX. We continue to work together With some of them. In addition, we attracted the first investments with the help of the accelerator.
We are in search of an investor, whose competences will help to develop our startup. In particular, people who have experience in developing streaming platforms, advertising networks or educational portals. At this stage, the initial plan is to attract $250 000 for a share of 10% in our company.