Sunday, September 25, 2022

Believe in your idea and just do it

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Sabine Elsässer
Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

Phyron AI powered software that produces on-brand engaging videos from existing still images and the descriptions used in car ads.

Please introduce yourself and your startup Phyron to our readers!

I’m Johan Sundstrand the CEO of Phyron. We’re Swedish video tech pioneers and together with my team we’ve developed a piece of AI powered software that produces on-brand engaging videos from existing still images and the descriptions used in car ads. The software takes a data feed of hundreds or thousands of vehicles from dealerships or automotive manufacturers (in the case of Volvo retail) and produces videos in real time. The videos are then pushed out onto the dealers’ websites, classifieds sites, social media channels, etc. 

Dealers no longer need to film and edit their own promo videos for every car on the forecourt. Phyron’s software even strips out the background, adding a neutral on brand background and a drop shadow. The AI identifies what is in the picture; infotainment system, alloys, sunroof, etc, and adds the key selling points to the video. The entire process is automated and for less than the price of a coffee per vehicle per month. If a dealer wants to run a special offer or change the price of a vehicle, the change is made in the data feed and a new video is rendered automatically and it goes live to the world, saving dealers many hours of laborious editing.

How did you get the idea of Phyron?

Whilst I have a background in the marketing technology space, my team is made up of world class AI software developers and Hollywood special effects experts. Video is the most powerful marketing tool in the world, video can engage a buyer like nothing else. But, there is no inventory of videos for companies with many products they wish to publish online and they all struggle to present their products in the best possible way. Everyone wants video but producing videos is an hassle and it cost a lot of money and time. Just taking quality still photos is a struggle for many companies

So, we tried to tackle that. How can you mass produce videos, fully automated and with studio quality videos? We started off in the ecommerce  industry and received tons of clients but in order to grow fast globally and train the AI the most efficient way we decided to focus on one industry. And after talking to colleagues in the automotive retail sector I was confident there was a better way to advertise and sell cars using state-of-the-art AI software. 

Why did you decide to start with Phyron?

After a decade in the marketing tech industry, we discovered that video outperformed all other formats, but our clients had no inventory of videos, and it cost them a lot to create. We had to fix that problem. I also truly believe that all repetitive tasks can be and will be automated!

Today our automated AI software can perform a wide range of defined actions such as creating high-quality videos, enhancing images, or sorting out the right still. We streamline processes, creates a uniform branding and making the path to digital transformation fast and cost-effective.

What is the vision behind Phyron?

Phyron aims to enable our customers to produce on-brand and engaging videos with zero human input, enabling them to do this at scale and generate sales or generate stock turnover at a rate never possible when traditional manual videos had to be made. We want to videos to be as attractive and engaging as seeing the cars in a showroom.

How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?

It has actually been quite good since the start. Our biggest challenge was to reach the quality that we wanted. We could automate rendering, but to be able to reach studio quality and train the AI, we made some bold decisions to focus only on the Automotive sector. Back then, 98% of our revenues were coming from ecom. And to scale globally. Our GTM strategy is very good today and we are a remote first company but it took a while to find the recipe of expanding in new regions. 

Who is your target audience?

Our target audience is currently automotive dealers and manufacturers, but there is no reason why in the future we can’t train our artificial intelligence to work on any other products, be they boats, furniture or jewellery and produce automated videos.

What is the USP of your startup?

Unlike other video software that is in the market, our AI powered software is 100% automated and required no manual input to produce on brand videos, and we still reach studio quality. 

Can you describe your typical workday ?

We have been growing a lot lately and that has been my focus, to help my team grow globally the best possible way, recruit, and as a SaaS company, founding is always on. Then I’m obsessed with keeping clients happy (no churn last year!!) and supporting big deals. So, a lot of time is spent there.

Where do you see yourself and your startup Phyron in five years?

Phyron’s software is already in use by dealerships in in 16 countries around the world. We expect that in five years’ time we’ll be the biggest supplier for video in the Automotive industry, video-ifying the whole buying journey, creating a uniform branding for our customers and are a unicorn. 

What 3 tips would you give to founders?

Always hire the best talent out there, even if it costs more, it is worth every penny. The team is everything. 

Sell and project manage all clients yourself at the beggining. The absolute best way to learn and adapt. 

Don’t create massive business plans at the beginning and focus too much on the product, you will end up changing them 500 times. Believe in your idea and just do it.

More information you will find here

Thank you Johan Sundstrand for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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