By Niall O’Gorman, #FounderStories a series of conversations with founders.
Goodvidio is a SaaS visual commerce platform founded in 2014, by Dimitrios Kourtesis with my co-founder Kostas Bratanis. We just entered our 3rd year of business and are exiting our beta period.
How did you get the idea for Goodvidio?
The story of Goodvidio starts from the moment that I was shopping for a baby stroller for my son online and felt frustrated to discover that very few online stores featured videos on that product on their e-commerce sites, especially because I knew there were thousands of related consumer-made and brand-made videos on that product on YouTube. That’s how the idea was born to create a platform that helps turn e-commerce into a visual experience with curated video content from social media. Online shopping should save shoppers’ time and be less of a hassle and simple things such as a video gallery can really do wonders in boosting confidence in purchases.
— Goodvidio (@goodvidio) October 14, 2015
What does Goodvidio actually do?
Goodvidio allows online retailers to make the most out of product videos on social media created by brands and consumers and to bring this content to their pages in order to engage shoppers and inspire them to make purchases. Goodvidio is a visual commerce platform that solves the problem of flat product experience in e-commerce. It helps online retailers to find, moderate and publish product videos from social media to their product pages.
Who’s your typical customer?
Our customers include well-known global brands such as Tassimo, Cadbury, Deutsche Telekom as well as small-medium sized online retailers such as Golf Online, Simply Electricals, Koolfly and many more. Our typical customer sells consumer products, which can range from electronics to beauty, sporting goods, baby products, appliances, gadgets, and accessories – really, anything that can benefit from a really good product review video!
— Dimitrios Kourtesis (@dimkourtesis) December 1, 2015
What are your top tips for brands exploring the value of video?
1. Use videos on product pages
2. Don’t place videos below the fold
3. Use user-generated product videos
4. Include different types of videos into the mix
5. Measure how videos influence the shopping journey
Visit our blog and subscribe to our newsletter for learning more tips! We’re are convinced that e-commerce video should be a major priority for brands and retailers in 2016 and beyond. Engagement metrics like session duration, pages per session and others are skyrocketing because of adding the right video content on a product page!
— Goodvidio (@goodvidio) May 3, 2016
Where is Goodvidio located and how many people work there?
We’re a UK company residing at The University of Sheffield Enterprise, where we are growing our sales & marketing teams. Our engineering and curation teams are located in Greece. At the moment, we are 15-people strong and growing. Each new addition to the team is met with great enthusiasm. We’re an international bunch and we all have a penchant for sweets!
At Goodvidio, we are looking to build an international team. We believe that modern SaaS companies should embrace remote working because the best person to do a job might be in a different country or continent! We already have team members who are working remotely in cities where we do not have an office presence and this has proved to us that we should be looking for the best talent anywhere in the world.
How was Goodvidio originally funded, How are you funded now and How does Goodvidio make money?
Goodvidio started with us investing some of our own hard-earned money into the business to get the wheels turning. This first bootstrap funding of 40k GBP gave us just enough room in the first months to form a form a small team and build an MVP of the Goodvidio service.
In September 2014, we participated inSeedcamp Week London after being invited along with 20 other teams from across Europe. Unfortunately, we did not have a complete product or the necessary traction back then and weren’t selected for join Seedcamp accelerator program. However, it was very helpful for us to meet with many investors and other startups to understand how the ecosystem works.
— Daniel Glazer (@DanielCGlazer) September 10, 2014
In early 2015 we raised 200k GBP in VC funding from Openfund, which gave us a jump-start to start developing the Goodvidio platform and testing customer acquisition channels to validate the business model and identify the ideal customer personas.
Now we have learned a lot about our ideal customer and how to approach them. Also, we learned that Goodvidio is not a good fit for online stores that are just starting out and do not have a significant traffic. Just a few days ago, we announced our pricing, which has been based on the feedback we received from our existing customers during the past period.
We’re fundraising now for a larger seed round, which will help us to scale customer acquisition in the UK and the USA within the next 12 months. We have a great relationship with our existing investors who have already committed to a follow-up investment for the current round. We are actively looking for more investors from the UK and USA who have experience in our industry and B2B SaaS to join our efforts for growing Goodvidio into a worldwide solution for UGC video in visual commerce.
Startups are like jumping from a plane and building a parachute as you fall. Except you don’t know whether parachutes are possible.
— Patrick Collison (@patrickc) July 8, 2012
What’s the biggest challenge Goodvidio today?
When you’re starting building your SaaS business it’s challenging to attract funding from prospective investors. What encourages us is that at such an early stage VCs are more interested in the people behind the company and their potential to build a viable business. They want to see commitment, drive, vision and hard work, and we have all that. They have modest expectations when it comes to cold hard sales and revenue numbers, so they want to see that there is a healthy team spirit behind the wheel that has the potential to reach growth.
However, as you grow, it is all numbers game. For our stage, most investors are interested in metrics like the monthly recurring revenue. Also, they feel more confident if they see proof of a customer acquisition channel that is proven to work.
What are your backgrounds? How did you both get your start and what brought you to a life in startups?
We have a background in computer science and worked in research areas such as software engineering and quality assurance in cloud platforms, intelligent information management, and cloud computing, during our time at The University of Sheffield.
We started getting involved with the local startup community, attending networking events and meeting entrepreneurs who had all kind of ideas about how one can build a business from scratch. This was really refreshing and unlike the atmosphere, we were used to in academia.
So what’s next for Goodvidio, where do you go from here?
Right now we are exiting our “beta period” and are working on a lot of exciting stuff to get more customers to try out Goodvidio. We recently locked down our rate card and launched our free trial so retailers and brands have a no risk way to prove out the ROI of Goodvidio on their sites.
Integrations with with several popular e-commerce platforms is another upcoming exciting area for us. We will be soon launching integrations for Magento, Shopify and Prestashop by the end of this quarter. The integrations will help online retailers to install Goodvidio with a single click from within those platforms.
So when things get crazy, what do you both do to unwind?
KB: I love food… I love to cook and experiment at home. But also to go and try food at any new place that I can find! I like to catch up with my favourite TV shows like Game of Thrones or Daredevil on Netflix (I’m a big fan of Marvel series). I really got in the workaholic mode trying to do everything to push Goodvidio to the next step!
DK: I love to spend time with my family. My second son born a few weeks ago. The most relaxing time for me is when I am playing with my son or taking care of my newborn. I would really love to do more of that! But as Kostas said, when you start a new company you really need to put 200% of yourself on it to make it fly!
I hear the whole team has a very sweet tooth, what’s that about?
Several team members are excellent cooks and bring very frequently amazing home baked cakes and sweets to the office! We have the concept of Fun Friday’s, when we’re either going out all together for dinner and drinks or order something tasty in the office. Lately, we tried to introduce more healthy snacks like oranges and bananas. It was not very successful I have to say… 🙂
You’re just back from Internet Retailing Expo 2016 how did that go?
Internet Retailing Expo 2016 took place in Birmingham, UK and was an amazing experience for us. It was the first time we were attending and I have to say that we’re already planning to attend next year as well. IRX16 hosted a lot of interesting talks ranging from conversion optimisation to delivering a much richer experience to shoppers online while at the same time we picked up a number of great leads from both brands and retailers.