Category Archives: finance

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Snapchat’s uncertain future

It all started in a classroom. Somewhere a teenager thought that exchanging info during a class using Snapchat would be foolproof because if caught, the item had already been deleted automatically. From there, Snapchat took off. Feeding on tweens insatiable appetite to communicate secretly between each other a million times a day without being caught, either by peers or authority, the ephemeral photo app became a sensation. So much so that today, it is poised to take rank in the otherwise very closed club of…

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10 Questions to a CEO : Lytro

Light Field photography has been around for a while and no other company has been more associated with its development than Lytro. First on the market with a consumer camera, and then a pro version, it has paved the uncharted territory of the promising technology. Restrained by a proprietary image format, expensive gear and lack of competition, it didn’t connect with the marketplace. Unphased and convinced that  light field is here to stay , Jason Rosenthal , CEO of Lytro is now aiming for the very…

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10 Questions for an investor: IBM Watson

After Watson’s success at winning Jeopardy competitions, IBM created a whole new business unit entirely dedicated to taking advantage of its impressive capabilities. Using cloud computing and  cognitive A.I., the IBM Watson ecosystem can process language, text, image, speech or data as input for anyone at any scale. Realizing that the biggest promises reside in the uncharted startup world, it soon dedicated a $100 M investment fund. Ahead of his participation as a judge at the LDV Vision Summit startup competition,  we sat down with…

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VR : The story so far

Everyone agrees that VR is the next big opportunity in the consumer tech industry. Goldman Sachs estimates the market to yield $60 billion by 2025, with almost a 50/50 split between hardware and software.  It is currently a giant land grab, where companies are positioning themselves, launching headsets, cameras, platforms and content. But, as much as the excitement is real, it is still all about the potential rather than the reality. Before the VR year kicks in at full gear, we thought we would stop and…

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10 Questions for a founder : Kite

On could think of Kite as the Stripe of the photo printing world. With just the addition of an SDK or API, it adds full printing and delivery capabilities to any photo app. For free. With photo printing on the rise- a recent study shows that the numbers of users ordering photo products from apps has doubled since 2013- Kite offers an appealing rapid development solution that can quickly put an app on the path of profitability. In fact, it is hard to understand why…

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Data driven stock photography

While there has never been so many photos taken and shared online, the world of professional photo licensing is not striving. In fact, most legacy companies have seen their revenue freeze or decline in the last decade, with rare exceptions.  While at first contradictory, a closer analysis reveals that part of the issue seems to be linked to antiquated business model that are ill-fitted to our all digital, mobile world. The few companies in this space that continue to grow, and some as much as 40%…

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Monetizing photo engagement – key topic of discussion at Mobile Photo Connect

With photo engagement on mobile devices higher than ever before, building mindshare and generating sustainable revenues – whether through apps, cloud services or print output products – are top priorities for photo app developers. Where are the untapped opportunities? At the September 29 Mobile Photo Connect conference in San Francisco, representatives from PicsArt, Walgreens, Kite, and CleverCards will dive into the monetizing photo engagement topic from distinctly different angles: Distribution is king. Over the past few years, Walgreens has placed an increased focus on photo output services within its…

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LDV Vision Summit : The videos

For those who couldn’t make it, LDV has just posted videos of the panels held at its latest Vision Summit, in New York this past month of May.  Since the summit lasted 2 days this year, with over 80 international expert speakers, 40 sessions, and 2 competitions, there is a lot to view. Curating a must-see list is a challenging task since it greatly depends on the specific interest of the viewers but  here are a few tips:  Since Day 1 was focused on the…

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10 Questions for a founder : Shutta

We might have some of the most amazing cameras in our phones, but we never seem to  capture the right moment. Either because of camera lag or speed of life, we are left forever frustrated by the images we never got. When we discovered Shutta in the cramped and crowded alleyways of the 2015 Techcrunch Disrupt, it was almost love at first sight, for a few reasons : One, the app sits somewhere between photo and video, it has one of the smartest and easiest…

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Adding the “buy” in photos

This week will go down in the history of the photo tech space ( if such a history is ever written) as a milestone. While predictably anticipated by even the laziest followers, both Instagram and Pinterest  announced the addition of a “buy” button next to images. The latter has gone a step further, as it made it live for iOS devices with web and Android in the pipeline. Why a milestone? Because ever since both platforms grabbed our attention by gathering massive active users (…

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