Stage: Beta (public testing)
Number of employees: 1-5
Investment Firms: InV FIRM, FIRM INV
LytesSpark is a fast, flexible video conferencing platform that’s easier to use and better quality than Skype, with no downloads or complicated signups.
Video conferencing has become a mainstream communications tool for individuals and business. Customers are becoming more sophisticated demanding smarter, more flexible solutions. The existing products are archaic, putting technology in the way of usability.
LyteSpark provides a fresh and simple way to communicate with video – without complexity.
Intuitively combining video with other tools and services greatly enhances the ability to interact and operate in a connected yet distributed global economy.
LyteSpark is poised to be a leading provider in a market that is emerging at the intersection of several current, established markets. We describe this new market as “virtualized business interaction” and it exists (or is growing) at the intersection of the following:
The intersection of these markets is estimated to be worth $18.6bn between 2013 and 2018 with a CAGR of 56% (ref. Market Research Media). Technical developments (such as WebRTC, an open source protocol developed by Google and Mozilla, originally as part of HTML5) are soon to become standard allowing new entrants to deliver disruptive solutions. Within the virtual events market forecast to grow in the UK to £48.4bn by 2020 (ref. Business Visits and Events Partnership) there is an identifiable trend towards virtual solutions. This has been accelerated by adverse economic conditions and increasing comfort with virtual solutions (ref. IBIS World).
There is massive fragmentation amongst suppliers, but incumbents and new players offer poor service and customer experience.
The products available in the video conferencing sector have changed little in recent years. Video conferencing has a dominant supplier in Skype (annual revenue $860m) while Google is attempting to commoditize Hangouts as part of its ubiquitous Google+ umbrella. Amongst business users WebEx and GoTomeeting remain market leaders. Several startups are challenging the status quo - these include Uberconference, Calliflower, BrightTALK, Powwownow, Readytalk, and Meetings.io. These product are all failing to deliver the full potential of video based interaction. The concentrate on a technical solution rather than creating a context for interaction.
We also consider sites such as LinkedIn (250m users, $1.5bn annual revenue) to be part of the problem. While they are fantastic ways of storing existing contacts and identifying useful connection the new contacts made via text/email only interaction remain weak links with little practical use.
LyteSpark is a fast, flexible video conferencing platform that’s easier to use and provides a far better experience than Skype, with no downloads or complicated signups.
It’s free for personal use, and as a subscription based B2B service.
Our model recognises the value that face-to-face contact brings to many forms of communication. Intuitively combining video with tools and services enhances the ability to interact and operate in a connected yet distributed economy. The beauty of our business model is the ability to deliver what seem to be bespoke products to different markets. This is also presents a challenge as we will need to understand the dynamics of more than one market. It’s possible that early success with one target could lead to a focus solely in that area.
Our basic revenue model is freemium. We offer an intelligent pricing model that only charges customers when they use our platform for business use. There are four tiers to our core product: free, home, office and business. And a further three for our newly developed education platform. The model is based on the principle that customer will pay once usage moves from social to business. With our low scaling costs we are able to support up to 90% of free customers against 10% premium. However, just 10,660 paying customers will allow us to break even with monthly revenues of £103,00.
STATUS AND FOCUS
We’ve already built a fully functioning beta service with support from the UKTI Global Entrepreneurs Programme and the Technology Strategy Board. Feedback from our customers has validated our customer centric approach:
We seek funding to take our product to market. We are forming key distribution partnerships in the education, workflow collaboration and enterprise sectors and also offer cut-and-paste code to embed our functionality directly into blogs.
Even in a crowded marketplace, even with dominant suppliers imposing their own standards, we believe that superior execution and customer centric product design will win.
Ask anyone about their last experience of GoToMeeting or even Skype and the response is almost always negative. Our service is designed to be a pleasure to use and the feedback from our customers confirms this. Our solution does not require any downloads or software installation. It is entirely browser based. There is no compulsory login; guests may participate in a video conference without being forced to log in or even enter a password. The user interface can also be customised and personalised according to individual taste.
From the same interface LyteSpark can be used for multiple use cases:
Our one product can do all that Skype, GoToMeeting, Hangouts, Join.me and even INXPO can do combined.
We offer solutions direct to gate-keepers - community owners, event organisers, university faculty, project managers/team leaders - who then engage their own networks or connections. There is never a hard sell. We trust in the utility of the event or meeting to engage incoming customers and the quality of our platform to retain them. The first exposure may be as a meeting participant but you could end up as a customer of virtual events.
MULTIPLE MARKET VERTICALS
Horizontal integration describes use cases. However by selectively packaging modules we may deploy products to specific industry verticals. Whether it be offering enhanced security and QoS for the banking industry or increasing storage and stripping to appeal to the creative industry. This advantage is derived from the technical architecture.
MODULAR TECHNICAL DESIGN
We have combined several technologies to deliver our overall platform. Everything is based on modularity. We have over 100 individual features that can be turned on/off and specifically deployed on an individual customer basis.
We have almost zero variable costs. Streaming is peer-to-peer and we can support 10,000 users with hosting costs under $100. Coupled with our modular deployment we are able to pass on incredibly low price points to our customers.