How video security startup Indee TV took on Amazon, landed 21st Century Fox as a client - YourStory

How video security startup Indee TV took on Amazon, landed 21st Century Fox as a client - YourStory


How video security startup Indee TV took on Amazon, landed 21st Century Fox as a client - YourStory

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 04:12 PM PST

Not very often does David take on Goliath and emerge victorious in the startup ecosystem. But San Francisco-based startup Indee TV did just that.

Founded by Sharan Reddy, Indee, which claims to offer filmmakers the "world's most secure platform for video streaming", took on internet giant Amazon and forced it to hunker down.

The startup now provides screeners to independent filmmakers and film studios so that they can upload their films securely on to the online platform and be viewed by test audiences, judges, and members of the press.

The client list is impressive, and includes 21st Century Fox, Reliance Entertainment, and – in a strange turn of events – Amazon Prime!

Indee TV

The Indee team.



How it all began

Sharan Reddy spent his childhood watching movies at Chennai's Liberty Theatre, once a landmark for blockbuster cinema. The era of legacy cinema ended as the movie industry moved away from reels and colour labs to digitalisation.

Sharan was then studying computer science engineering at Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering. He developed a video streaming application in 2004, as part of his final year project.

Sharan Reddy, Indee

Sharan Reddy, CEO and Founder.

After his graduation, he took the product to Chennai-based Sify Technologies, a reputed ICT solutions company. This was the time when Sify was attempting to get into video streaming; the company acquired the product and gave Sharan a job.

In 2011, he moved to San Francisco to work with Deloitte as a consultant; his first account was Disney. The work led him to understand the movie industry in Hollywood closely. He made good friends with a couple of VPs at Disney, and put in place a stable feedback loop before he even started up.

"It was a time when an entire industry was on the verge of a total digital transformation," Sharan says.

The problem statement

At Deloitte, Sharan noticed that filmmakers were heavily dependent on a metrics-driven approach during the filmmaking process. The age-old tradition of testing the quality of a movie before release involved specific focus groups that watched and gave feedback. However, the cycle was time-consuming and expensive.

Sharan decided to use the internet to solve this problem, and banded together with a friend to bootstrap and start Indee.tv in 2012. He founded the startup in San Francisco, and had development teams in Bengaluru and Chennai.

The online platform was built to help independent filmmakers get feedback from the global audience within 48 hours. The company was officially launched in 2014.

The idea was to bring down feedback costs for filmmakers, but the real challenge was to ensure that the security layer was strong enough to avoid leaks and piracy, given the abundance of pirates on the internet.

"The platform had strong analytics tools to gauge a viewer's reaction and engagement to every frame of the film. This would consequently help filmmakers improve the content and make it better," Sharan says.

Speaking about the technology, he says there is "obviously no such thing as 100 percent security", and the platform was multi-layered to ensure maximum protection against piracy.



How Indee works

The startup now helps filmmakers and studios with test, promotional, awards, and press screenings.

Every copy of Indee's videos is dynamically generated and uniquely customised for the recipient. The security layer ensures that the films and shows are in the "most secure streaming environment online".

The in-depth analytics help clients understand video engagement patterns that could be critical for commercial success. They keep customers informed about their content's strengths and vulnerabilities.

Apart from the freemium version on a forever-trial basis, Indee offers two plans under its subscription model. The premium plan is priced at $25 dollars per (film) title, while the high-profile plan is priced at $250 per title.

With a subscription, Indee allows users to upload videos on to the platform, which are then processed with more than 20 security measures, both industry-standard and proprietary to Indee.

After processing, every time the users share videos with anyone, Indee restricts the third party from being able to screen-capture or copy them. The technology also allows Indee to identify the source of a leak to be able to quickly shut the video down.

In 2016, Indee.tv raised $500,000 in seed funding from Kstart, the seed capital arm of Kalaari Capital.

Taking on Amazon

In early 2012, when Indee was in its early stages and the team was working with almost-zero pay, it already had an impressive clientele in Hollywood. Sharan and his team were actively working with various film festivals, including the likes of Cannes and Catalina.

But there was also Without A Box, Amazon's flagship service that allowed filmmakers to submit their work to film festivals. Looking at the traction and attention Indee was getting, Amazon released a tweak in its terms and conditions, asking filmmakers to use only its service or walk away.

Within a day, Sharan lost 90 percent of his clientele, and the startup's future seemed bleak.

But Indee took the fight to Facebook and launched a campaign, "Support Indee, boycott Without A Box". The war was against Amazon's monopolistic behaviour, and more than 12,000 independent filmmakers stepped forward in support of Indee. Amazon had no choice except to drop its conditions.

A spread on the issue in Hollywood Reporter gave wings to the startup, and news spread across studios in Los Angeles rapidly. Without A Box removed the offending clause from its contract, and Indee's customers returned to its fold.



What comes next?

Indee.tv has more than 400 clients in the bag, including 21st Century Fox, A24, Millennium Films, Reliance Entertainment, Epic Pictures, and CBS. Interestingly, Amazon Prime is also now a client.

Sharan says the startup has upped its revenue numbers by 500 percent in the last 12 months, and has now reached profitability.

"A few competitors would be Deluxe, Technicolor, Screeners.com, pix.online and our own home-grown options. We recently acquired all the clients of screener.ly, one of our competitors."

According to Allied Market Research, the global market for online video platforms was $218 million in 2016, and is projected to reach $915 million by 2025, at a CAGR of 17.5 percent.

Indee has a lean operating team with 13 members, most of them in sales and product divisions. The time has now come to ramp up the sales aspect, Sharan says.

The bigger ambition for Indee TV is to take it mainstream with the support of bigger studios and feature even bigger content as an online distribution channel.

Indee's online market research test screeners claim it offers the most in-depth performance analysis of films and TV shows, but the fact remains that the majority of the startup's user base is in the US.

Considering the nascent nature of the market in India for independent filmmakers and the lack of awareness surrounding film festival screenings, the startup hasn't tested the waters here. Yet.

(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)

10 Startups Leading The Way In Customer Experience - Forbes

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 10:19 AM PST

Customer experience is critical for all companies, not just large, established organizations. While many large companies find it difficult to put customers first, a growing number of startups are prioritizing customer experience from the beginning with great results. Here are 10 startups leading the way in customer experience and the lessons they can teach companies of any size.

Eero

Home WiFi system startup eero aims to make everything about its products as simple as possible. Creating a proactive customer experience has been integral to the company from the start. Customer instructions start with how to remove and replace the old product, and the company provides recommendations to get the most out of the system. Customers can manage their internet easily through an app and have a variety of self-service options, plus the ability to quickly connect with a human employee.

Zoomcar

This Indian startup is a market leader in self-driving cars and car rentals. The company has a diverse team that goes through the entire car renting journey to look for ways to continually make it more simplified and efficient for customers. Zoomcar has also identified key points in the rental journey to proactively help customers. The detailed customer journey map keeps everyone in the company on the same page to help customers. 

Kin

Insurance is a notoriously confusing space for customers, but Kin's goal is to make the process as painless and easy to understand as possible. The company leverages huge amounts of data to simplify the home insurance process with digital-first solutions. Employees are constantly learning and applying customer feedback. Agents act as advisors to customers and regularly check in to make sure the entire insurance journey is smooth and simple. 

EpiAnalytics

EpiAnalytics was created to solve a problem for B2B customers. The founders realized that companies have huge amounts of unstructured data, which is difficult to analyze and use. The company collects data and helps brands pinpoint the most important insights. EpiAnalytics serves customers by staying ahead of the latest data advances and providing assistance so that every customer uses the product to the fullest potential for their company.

Smokeball

The legal software startup aims to help small law firms succeed by continually improving its customer service and overall experience. Customer service agents are trained to proactively listen to customers to solve issues before they are even announced. The company also checks in with clients regularly after their purchase to answer any follow-up questions and strengthen the relationship. 

Jitterbit

From the beginning, software company Jitterbit has worked to avoid internal silos before they even form. The company shares customer data across all departments to create a consistent, streamlined experience. Employees all have insights on customers, which helps them offer personalized service and recommendations. 

Meituan

The wildly popular Chinese tech startup Meituan speeds up the booking and delivery of a huge variety of services ranging from hotels and restaurants to movie tickets and spa reservations. The core of its growing business is customer data. Meituan leverages customer data to predict what services each person will need next. Proactively recommending services for customers in their area creates satisfied and loyal customers. 

Zoro

From its beginning, e-commerce startup Zoro has focused on creating engaged, empowered employees. The customer experience starts internally with great benefits and perks for employees, as well as regular training. Zoro puts itself in the shoes of the customer to go through the entire journey and make improvements as needed. The company performs regular business reviews with large tech partners to advocate for customers and ensure all their needs are met. 

Blendle

The journalism startup was launched to create a convenient solution for customers to read all of their newspapers and magazines in one location with a single paywall. Users only have to pay for the articles they read instead of paying subscription fees to multiple news outlets. The entire company is based around disrupting a traditional industry to provide better service for customers with the micro-payment model

Airtable

This startup has an incredibly loyal fan base because everything about the product and service is designed to help B2B customers. The cloud-based workflow system allows anyone in a company at any level to quickly analyze data in a way that's easy to understand. The product is regularly updated with customer feedback and allows customers to work smarter and faster. 

No matter if they are well established or just starting out, these 10 startups show the power of making customer experience an integral part of a company from the beginning. With customer centricity a hallmark of a company's culture and mindset, it's easier to create a path to customer success.

Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist and the author of two books including her new book The Customer Of The Future. Learn more by signing up for her weekly newsletter here.

Korean startup K-Nets offers a complete 3D solution for movie and gaming market – KoreaTechDesk – Korea's Leading Tech and Startup Media Platform - koreatechdesk

Posted: 24 Jan 2020 12:00 AM PST

Who doesn't like watching a great movie or playing an engrossing video game with superior and realistic special effects? The GTA5 Game or the Avengers Movie, the popularity of such movies and games, is evident from the over-the-top content as well as the video games market, which is predicted to run into several billion dollars worldwide. However, the 3D model fee for VFX movies or AAA video games is very high, and the process takes a long time.
Korean startup K-Nets and Engineering Company makes 3D models from real-time images and promises not just faster lead time but best quality 3D data at a competitive price!

Outstanding results at an affordable rate and faster service

K-Nets, founded in 2018, has threefold core strength when compared to other 3D add VFX companies. It promises to supply quality 3D Data at a reasonable price and faster lead time. The company has a range of high-quality 3D scanners that show outstanding results. The 3D printers use AP&C plasma atomized powders and are well adapted for all additive manufacturing technologies offering exceptional flowability, purity, and density.

With three studios in Korea, the startup has branched out to Vietnam with a studio called K-Vienam, where the software price is four times lower than competitors, and the wage-price is almost eight times more economical. It is developing an AI System, which will be used for Motion Capture, Aging and De-Aging, and Upscaling.

The company received a cumulative investment of $1.1 million in 2019 and is looking for a $3 million investment this year. K-Net's portfolio is impressive, and it has worked on some of the top Korean movies, which are also available on Netflix. K-Nets will be attending the second edition of TIPS & beSUCCESS Korean Startup Showcase in the USA.

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