We had an interesting chat with Ms. “Nathalie du Preez”, CEO and Co-Founder of the London and New York based start-up “Bunchcut”
Below is the interview we conducted with her:
1. What is it exactly that you do and what your start-up is all about?
Bunchcut allows teams to sort through large volumes of images fast…so they can find and share only the best ones with their clients, coworkers, and customers. Voting is the unique feature that helps teams sort through content super fast. Commenting on images bypasses back-and-forth emails.
2. When has your startup been founded? And what stage is your startup currently at?
We launched our private beta site in July 2014. We are early stage and pre-revenue and have not raised outside funding. We plan on growing our user base 60% MOM and starting to charge for our service by Q1 2015.
3. What is your startup’s business model and how does it work?
We will charge a monthly subscription fee to businesses after a limited free trial period. We will offer 3 pricing tiers based on storage and number of boards created. We will also benefit from affiliate fees by linking to stock photo sites and design blogs.
4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?
We all grew up together in Cape Town, South Africa. Alex, the Creative Director, is my younger brother. We’ve known Jan, our CTO, since we were toddlers. Nat is the Hustler. Alex is the Hipster. Jan is the Hacker. We’ve always wanted to start a business together given our complementary skills.
5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?
Unlike existing enterprise solutions, which focus on collecting media, Bunchcut helps teams filter content to narrow down choices quickly and effectively.
6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has your startup achieved so far?
We launched our private beta site in July 2014 and are organically growing our user base. We’ve secured our initial angel funding and have established our core founding team and identified our initial hires.
7. Who are your competitors? And what is your start-up’s competitive advantage over them?
Dropbox stores content but doesn’t help teams quickly decide on the best content. Pinterest is a discovery platform; helping teams collect masses of content, not narrow it down. Collaboration sites like Basecamp assist in team communication, but no not help teams make quick decisions on visual content.
8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
Bootstrapping a startup. Balancing building a pre-funded startup with bringing in a pay check. Recruiting a team that shares your passion and dream.
9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
Despite being inundated with content, we all seek less noise. We have become “machine gun” posters and photographers…sharing anything and everything. But we are moving towards a world where private sharing of higher quality content is becoming more sought after.
10. Why are you going to succeed?
We are passionate about visual content, are avid photographers ourselves, and intimately understand the problem we’re trying to solve since this is a product we would each have used in our prior jobs. Most importantly, we have experience creating and building things and know what it takes to get a business off the ground.
11. If your startup succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?
Video, sound, building a product for the fashion and publishing worlds, exploring a B2C angle to our business. We’d also like to truly go global and target all the creative hubs (New York, London, Berlin and San Francisco).
12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build your start-up based on?
We are passionate about the most universal language around: images. All of the co-founders are passionate photographers and we all had a need for this product in our prior jobs.
13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?
Listen, listen, and listen to feedback from users. Users are more important than investors. They should be shaping the direction of your business and product.
14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
Scaling a sales team quickly and managing sales reps effectively. Ensuring that there is quick and flawless communication between the sales team, customer service team and product team.
15. What’s the benefit for the customer/user?
Making their workflow more productive and thus saving them time. Increasing marketing ROI by ensuring content posted will obtain the highest click through and conversion rates.
16. How did customers / users find out about you?
We’ve been featured on Product Hunt, Beta List, Superb Crew and other tech publications. Our user base is growing organically from there and also from word of mouth from existing users.
17. Who are your current customers / users? Who are your target customers / users?
Designers, creative teams, product teams, marketing teams, ad agencies. We will target the 500K creative agencies worldwide, design schools, fashion companies and publishing houses.
18. Where do new customers / users come from and what makes new customers/users try you?
They come from the PR we’ve received and word of mouth / referrals from existing users. We are solving a genuine pain point for users and we do so with a clean and simple dashboard…this makes them want to try us out.
19. What do your customers / users say about your product and/or service?
There’s a real lack of tools to organize and comment on visual content. As a storytelling studio working with branding, animation, UI and graphic design, we find Bunchcut a great resource. I’m typically tech phobic but Bunchcut doesn’t intimidate me. I love the slick design and ease of use. It’s visually appealing and one ‘gets it’ instantly, unlike Asana or Trello.
20. How are you going to scale?
We are going to scale by building a great sales team, building vitality into the product, and hiring a great growth hacker. We also plan on offering member referral credits and discounts to design schools.
21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers/users keep asking for?
An iPhone app, an Android app, browser extensions, linking to stock photo sites, a recommendation engine that suggest images to users. We’d also like to spend significant time increasing the speed at which images are uploaded and the ability to access the APIs of other collaboration sites.
22. Are you going to internationalize? And if yes how are you planning to expand your start-up’s operations accordingly?
Yes, definitely. We see this product being especially useful in New York, San Francisco, London and Berlin – the world’s creative hubs. The co-founders have networks in these cities.
23. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your goals?
$100MM+ business in 5 years just by targeting creative agencies or SMEs. But we think there is a broader use for our product in the fashion and publishing worlds and for any marketing team. We will grow big by focusing on user needs at a micro level and ensuring we’re building a product they love and need.
24. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And if yes, what job vacancies do you currently offer and where can potential applicants contact you at?
Yes, mainly an engineering team: a Product manager, a front-end developer, a back-end developer, a UX engineer and designer, a growth hacker and a sales team.
25. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals (VC) or other funding sources? Or your business is self-sustainable? And if the first option applies where can potential partners / investors contact you at?
We are looking for angel funding from investors who are passionate about this space and who can help establish the right partnerships for us. Anyone interested can contact Nat on email@example.com
26. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?
As clichéd as it sounds, pick a problem you’re passionate about solving with a team you enjoy working with. Because every day is tough…but passion and people make things worthwhile.