Are you a journalist in Rome writing an article on an event that is happening in San Francisco to be urgently pubblished and there is no way you can get a photo? Or maybe you dream to see the window display at a fancy shop in Paris at this exact moment? Or are you simply going to a pub tonight and want to choose the most popular and crowded one? Whoosnap, the app developed by our accelerated startup, makes all of these possible!
How does it work? Let’s say, you want to know what’s going on at LUISS ENLABS at this moment. You insert the exact address together with a brief description and send your request with an offer, ranging from 10 to 1000 virtual coins from your virtual piggy bank. Once you have sent your request, each person with the smartphone geolocalized at that point, can make a photo and send it to you. If you are satisfied with the photo, you can download it and pay.
Enrico Scianaro, CEO of the startup, has been an accountant for several years until March when he decided to apply to LUISS ENLABS startup acceleration program with his idea. To find out more about his startup, we asked him a few questions!
Q. Who are your main clients?
A. We envisage the interest from people who are just curious in photos for personal use and journalists who need a photo for their news. The world of professional photography has changed dramatically. With smartphones, the quality of photos you take has increased and a professional photographer is still able to take a nice shot. The journalists are more keen on publishing the news sooner, rather than waiting for a high resolution photo, so they could benefit from Whoosnap.
Q. Which quality of photos does Whoosnap provide?
A. Photos inside Whoosnap are 2 Mb, however when a receiver of the photo is satisfied with the quality, he or she can download a photo in its highest resolution that obviously depends on the model of a phone with which a sender has made a photo. All the photos remain in a so-called Marketplace inside the app: one can search them by a hashtag or address and buy at the second moment, unless a sender wishes to acquire the exclusivity on a photo and to pay an extra fee equal to ten times the initial price.
Q. Should Whoosnap frighten professional photoreporters?
A. Not at all. I believe, Whoosnap photos go well for “quick” news, however for more important news, the photos of high quality should be taken. We are extremely attentive to copyright online. Once you have paid an exclusivity of the taken photo, you have a copyright and we cannot use it.
Q. How do I manage my virtual coins at Whoosnap?
A. The first time you register at Whoosnap, you immediately get 500 coins that equal to 5 euro. This money you cannot convert into euros, you only use them to pay for photos. In the app, you will be able to convert the coins you have earned taking the photos into euro. If you only make requests, but do not make photos, you obviously run out of coins. Then you can earn them in several ways: inviting your friends, making photos, or simply buying the coins.
Q. What is your Business Model?
A. For every request, we charge a 30% commission. Moreover, we get 50% of the price of photos on sale at the Marketplace and earn on giving the exclusivity.
Q. Who are your competitors?
A. Talking about direct competitors, there is a Finland-based Scoopshot popular in the United States. These guys have already taken 11 million investment. However, they mainly focus on B2B market. For example, they have recently collaborated with RyanAir to provide photos for their advertising. Their minimal national request is 50 dollars plus taxes, while for international requests it ranges from 1500 dollars. Whoosnap focuses on B2C market and photos for a non-commercial use.
Q. How are you going to enter the market?
A. I would like to support most prominent social networks such as Facebook and Instagram to give their users the possibility to request photos all over the world. At the moment we are working with the largest communities of Instagram followers in Italy and they will support us. They are constantly organizing the photo contests for all Instagram followers and they said that with our App, they could manage the contest in Italy and in the world, without contacting each client one-by-one.