Swiss-Russian startup Happy Numbers developed a mobile math-teaching app that serves as an independent math station ...
Death of the Static Tutorial
August 31, 2016
Text by Allie Summers
Swiss startup Teleport has invented a way to make video interactive. The software as a service platform turns any video into a website. The best part – it is easy, quick, and intuitive.
We caught up with Gavrilo Bozovic, co-founder of Teleport, after hearing his investor pitch at our swissnex offices. Teleport is currently a resident at swissnex as part of the CTI Market Validation Camp.
See how Gavrilo and his ninja team are enabling anyone armed with a smart phone to turn videos into interactive websites in just minutes.
Q: What is Teleport?
We built a platform for interactive online video. It allows anyone with a video file to create an interactive experience. By scrolling in any direction, the end user can navigate freely through the video. You can integrate additional information like text, images, or social media elements in the image. Teleport is especially useful in the fields of education, product presentations, or virtual tours.
Q: What inspired you and your co-founders to create Teleport?
We came up with the idea by accident, actually. We were working as digital consultants and needed to create a virtual tour of a campus. After we presented what was to become Teleport, we realized the potential of our idea. We saw that we could use this platform in many other applications and that’s when we decided to spin off Teleport as its own company.
Q: Who are the faces behind Teleport?
Three of us founded Teleport. We have been working together for six years across three different companies. Daniel, our CTO is originally a physicist and he manages software development for Teleport. Cem is a designer by trade and he is responsible for business development. And I am an engineer. I finished my studies 10 years ago and I am in charge of operations and strategic development.
Q: Why is the Teleport experience better than standard video?
In many segments of video, such as tutorials, you typically don’t want to consume content in a linear way– you will want to advance, to pause, and go back to get extra information. You can’t achieve interaction by clicking back and fourth on a timeline as is necessary with standard video. Teleport enables this natural behavior by having non-linear navigation at the core of its product.
Q: Is there a significant gap in the market that Teleport will fill?
Current online video solutions do not provide sufficient and compelling user interaction. Tutorials make up 4% of all videos uploaded to YouTube and the YouTube interface is fundamentally inadequate for this video format. That’s where our product comes in: We believe that providing tailored solutions for this niche can make a very good business.
Q: What brought you to swissnex and San Francisco?
We did a first seed round for our company at the beginning of the 2016 in Switzerland where it’s relatively easy to find early stage seed money. In order to raise a higher round, we felt that there were more opportunities elsewhere.
Now, why San Francisco? San Francisco is a hot spot for startups but it is also in our development plans to open up sales representation in the US. We’ve known about swissnex for years and when we got accepted into the CTI entrepreneurship coaching, we heard of the swissnex CTI market entry and market validation camps. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for us to enter the US market.
Q: What are your priorities in San Francisco?
Our first priority is meeting with investors. We’ve already had a few meetings and some scheduled. We’re using all of the free time we have to meet with potential partners and customers. Those can be digital communication agencies, video agencies, or customers. It’s also helpful to meet with different professionals in the field to exchange around Teleport.
Q: What have you already learned being here that’s different from what you’ve experienced in Switzerland?
We were shocked by how easy it is to meet people here. People understand quickly what you do and they’re straightforward, which is very pleasant. In Switzerland, it’s more difficult to get meetings. Here, we sent out some emails and two days later we had meetings scheduled at YouTube and Facebook. This really helped us to understand why startups are moving so fast here.
Q: Who are your main customers?
Currently we’re working mostly with business customers. The International Olympic Committee uses Teleport as a main tool in their knowledge management process; to document the activities of cities organizing Olympic Games. We have clients using Teleport to do product presentations, virtual tours, and a pharma company that wants to use Teleport as an internal training tool for new employees. But, anyone can try Teleport out and create applications from our website.
Q: Have you already received some feedback from your customers?
We are in close contact with our customers. We are actively developing the platform and we are very eager to get customer feedback to help us make sure that what we are developing is relevant to our customers. For the moment, our customers are very happy.
Q: How does Teleport differ from its competitors?
We are doing interactive websites based on video. Many companies out there claim to do “interactive video,” but they are really just putting hot spots on a regular video. We feel this is a bad approach because the regular video experience is linear and passive. The best way to enjoy a video is to click play and watch it until the end. If you put hot spots on top of that it means that you’re placing a layer of interactivity on a passive medium, which will interrupt your video experience. Our differentiation is that we are treating the video content itself as interactive and users can navigate their own experience.
Q: What is Teleport’s service model?
We develop and manage the platform. Customers pay a monthly fee to use Teleport. Everything is hosted, serviced, and maintained by us. Typically you start using it, you pay monthly, and that’s it. We also offer enterprise solutions where we basically sell an installation on premises for a client but that’s very particular and a different user case.
Q: What market segment are you targeting?
Real estate is a strategic market for us. With Teleport, real estate agencies can create a very immersive virtual tour of different places where you can show the place, tangible information about the building as well as more emotional information, like Instagram pictures of people in the neighborhood and ultimately you can create very rich tours.
Another interesting segment is DIY (Do it Yourself). So for instance, Home Depot has a video platform where they have 25,000 “how-to” videos. It’s extremely valuable for them because if their costumers don’t know what to build, their products won’t sell. This is something they are developing. Teleport could be integrated in such a platform to provide better user experience to their customers.
Teleport was recently profiled in TechCrunch for their work with the Olympic Committee.