Strime has revolutionized the world of video editing. The sleek UI and dead simple interface creates a clarified system for clients and saves time for the video producer, saving essential time and money for everyone.
Product / Service Offering: Video Project Management Platform
Co-founder Interviewed: Romain Biard
This article is part of our Business Startup Spotlight series featuring entrepreneurs and their companies. We hope that these founders’ interviews will inspire and motivate you as you undertake your own entrepreneurial journey.
Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you?
I am the co-founder and CTO of Strime, representing the company here in Chile. My career began by helping American startups to grow their business in Europe. I worked for the blog platform TypePad and launched Uber in Paris. Five years ago I launched my own web development company, then two years ago created Strime with two friends. I am thrilled by the idea of developing our activity here in Chile and to get to know the video ecosystem here.
When did you establish your company and where did the idea originate?
Founded in July 2015 in France, the first version of Strime launched shortly after in January 2016. The idea originated from one of my partners, Franck, who is a video producer. He needed a solution to help him collect feedback from his clients on his productions. Since he couldn’t find anything close to what he needed, he created a team around him to work on a service of this kind. That’s how Strime was born.
What need or needs does your company seek to fill for its customers?
When a video producer works on a video, he needs to have it approved by his client at some point. Usually, he would put it on a streaming platform and wait for his client to send him an email. The client would spend time writing this email while trying to look at the video at the same time, which easily creates confusion for the producer and client. The video producer would have to go back and forth with his client to understand what is wanted exactly. Most of the clients don’t put timecodes in their messages and they have difficulty identifying which part of the video needs to be changed.
Strime simplifies a lot of this process by allowing the client to write directly on the video. The client saves time, and the video producer can directly see the comments on the video, which is way clearer for him. Since the comments are timecoded; the video producer can answer them. A click is all that’s required and he is redirected to the exact moment of the video which needs to be edited. Moreover, all the comments are nicely organized as a thread of discussion, regardless of the number of people collaborating.
What is the one thing that sets your company apart from its competitors?
Strime’s strength resides in its sleek UI and dead simple interface. We are making it extremely easy to use for the client because if the client doesn’t use it, the video producer is not saving time. Strime is the only service of this kind to be available in both French and Spanish.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while getting your company up and running, and how did you overcome it?
Our biggest challenge was perhaps to work on the performances of the application. In order to allow the video producers to upload any kind of video, we have to re-encode so they can be read in any browser. This encoding process consumes a lot of resources; therefore, we had to find solutions to make it as transparent and efficient as possible. In the meantime, we had to find solutions which wouldn’t destroy our future profitability.
The solution we found was to use software called FFMPEG, and to design a server architecture. This allows us to scale it quickly and to reduce the load on our servers. I also became one of the core contributors of the bundle PHP-FFMPEG, which allows us to connect this software to our solution.
Are there resources you have utilized that other founders might find compelling or useful.
We became a member of the OVH Digital Launch Pad. OVH is the first hosting provider in Europe and recently bought the Cloud Business Unit of VMWare. The program helps promising start-ups by giving them free public Cloud infrastructure up to three years. We are still part of this program and a partner of OVH.
What steps have you taken to secure funding for your company and what, if anything, would you do differently if you had to start over?
In our region in France, we have been integrated into a local program that helps innovative entrepreneurs to develop an idea. They gave us resources to create the company and develop the first version of the product. We launched a pay offer, which we have dropped recently. The integration into Start-Up Chile also helped us secure the funding for Strime for the next six months. We are now securing bank loans and hope to raise money during the second semester of this year. Also, we are actually working on a new offer for big companies which should be ready to sell in August.
If I could, I would have focused 100% of my time on Strime from the very beginning. The problem is that you have to make your living one way or another. I had to keep working with my web development company until I integrated Start-Up Chile in February. I am not sure how to have done it differently, but being able to focus on your project is definitely a key point to a faster startup.
Have there been any questions you have had as an entrepreneur of a fledgling startup that you had a particularly hard time finding the answers to?
I think the hardest question is how to fund your company and when to open your capital in order not to lose control. However, there is probably no answer to this. Later is probably the best, but raising money may be a key factor of success for your company so you will have to do it quickly. Each scenario is different.
What challenges, if any, are you grappling with?
Combining volume and quality on a dematerialized market is tough. We are actually growing fast and developing our user base. The key point for us is to be known by our target of video producers. We are running campaigns on Google AdWords and Facebook, but if this drives volume on the website, it isn’t necessarily quality leads.
What is the most helpful tip or “hack” you’ve ever learned, stumbled across, or been given?
I think we received two important tips. First, when we launched our pay offer on a freemium business model, we aligned ourselves on the market prices and were selling at 15€/month. We learned that this was not expensive enough with regards to the value of our service and to the time saved by our clients. When we heard this we had no idea how to do it differently. Secondly, we received advice to drop the pay offer and focus on growing our user base.
Combining these two tips in order to focus on a B2B market, we decided to drop the pay offer and create a new product for big companies. The product would sell at a higher price and includes valuable features that will not be in the free offer. This has also helped us to differentiate from our competitors.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your company?
We just released the international version of Strime. Now the service is available in English, French, and Spanish. It’s the only service of this kind available in Spanish. We are now focusing on growing in South America, and we will begin to work with key accounts in the next few weeks to adapt the product we’re building in this market.
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