flayvr is going after Android and iPhone default photo apps with its mobile photo and video galleries
A Q&A with flayvr founder and CEO Ron Levy. The Tel Aviv–based company was founded in 2011 and raised a $450K Seed round in early October.
SUB: Please describe flayvr and your value proposition.
Levy: flayvr is the next generation of mobile photos and video galleries. We automatically organize the media stored on users’ iPhones into interactive vivid collections. This allows users to put an end to the endless scrolling through their mobile albums, in search for those lost moments they have forgotten all about. In one tap, they can share an entire experience with their friends, but if they choose not to it all stays private.
SUB: Who are your target markets and users?
Levy: Basically anybody who loves taking photos and videos with their iPhone, which is a large segment of users as the iPhone has quickly become the default camera for many. We have seen a lot of enthusiasm with people who love taking sets of photos and videos, and are really sentimental about their memories –young parents for example. At the same time, we’re seeing a lot of students that share flayvrs from parties, since flayvr makes it so easy for them to combine it all into one experience and share in no time.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Levy: We live in a world where users are already used to sharing their photos and videos on social networks. flayvr makes it much easier for them to share their life, and actually integrates with Facebook, for example. Our main competition is therefore user’s habits—getting them to go flayvr instead of the native Photos app.
SUB: What differentiates flayvr from the competition?
Levy: flayvr is unique in three main ways: simplicity of creation—we organize the events automatically for the user in no-time; great experience—we are working hard to have the events appear as beautiful as it gets; combining videos and photos together, sharing—users that choose to, can finally share a complete event just like they remember it, and in one tap—no need to sort, swipe or select.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Levy: We founded the company in late 2011. Our first steps were to understand the need. We talked to a lot of users, researched their photo and video taking habits and their sharing habits, and understood the pain. The next step was a proof of concept designed to show that providing this simplicity is possible while keeping a smooth user experience.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for flayvr? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Levy: Great question—there was definitely an ‘aha’ moment. I was coming back from the playground with my two kids, and wanted to show my wife some photos and videos I took with my iPhone. While she was flipping through the photos, she suddenly discovered some lost treasures I had buried on my gallery, and asked me why she has never seen them. I replied that I have never seen them either up until now. That was the moment I realized a new solution is needed.
SUB: How did you come up with the name? What is the story behind it?
Levy: The idea of the name flayvr is all about spicing things up and adding some ‘flavor’ to the boring camera roll. We wanted a name that tastes good.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Levy: flayvr is all about your personal photos and videos. As such, it’s a very emotional ride. As opposed to building a game, for example, here anything you do with user’s photos immediately sparks a personal reaction. It’s not an obstacle but it makes our job very emotional as well. The main technological obstacle was putting it all together. There are many pillars of technology that allow flayvr to appear so simple.
SUB: You just raised $450K in Seed funding. What are your plans for the funds?
Levy: We are focusing strongly on improving the product, following the heartwarming feedback we’re getting from users all the time on Twitter, Facebook and our support email. We plan to use this funding to continue adding features and learn more about the user’s needs as we go along.
SUB: Why was this a particularly good time to raise more outside funding?
Levy: I think the right timing is all about when the passion to get the product out is the highest. Eventually it’s about finding investors that you really connect with and that you can count on to help you. With regards to our domain of personal photos and videos, there is certainly a clear need that everybody is experiencing—tons of photos are stuck in galleries. It’s an apparent problem with no clear solution, which makes the timing great.
SUB: How does the company generate revenue or plan to generate revenue?
Levy: At the moment we are focusing on building traction and a great user experience. There is a lot of value created by increasing the sharing levels of users and changing their photo and video taking habits, which is what we do.
SUB: What are your goals for flayvr over the next year or so?
Levy: We strive to become the leading alternative for your iPhone and Android default photo gallery, and change the media taking and consumption habits.
flayvr – www.flayvr.com