'Always be pitching, looking for feedback' - Wipster's Rollo Wenlock
“Get your idea out there as much as possible, pitch it to everyone, even to strangers in a cafe, see what happens. If it doesn’t resonate, you probably don’t have anything.”
Wipster was part of the Capital’s Lightning Lab initial inductees, and successfully pitched to 150 investors at Demo-Day in Mid-May. This capital raising brought in $600,000 for the startup – though this took a fair bit of too-ing and fro-ing, and it wasn’t till August that the money was locked down.
The cloud platform based service allows work-in-progress videos to be easily shared with team mates and clients, who can annotate feedback directly on the video.
Essentially, it streamlines the whole video-making process, with the video itself becoming the canvas for all communication to go through.
Compared to endless email chains which require naming a particular timestamp of the video, and then the editor having to go back and forwards from email to video, it is a neat solution to a problem says Rollo Wenlock.
He’s been in the video/film production and editing arena for a number of years, so is well versed in the frustrations of getting a final, edited and agreed by all participants, video out the door.
Considering that Wenlock had his lightbulb moment for what became Wipster only last November, he and Wipster have come a long way. Admittedly, Wipster’s been testing ever-improving versions of their product to those who have signed up as Beta customers.
But more importantly, the company’s about to hire a rockstar marketing/sales person whose sole focus will be to get out and sell to some of an estimated two million video-makers around the world, with a November 1 release date for a thoroughly tested product.
This includes staying in touch with, and letting some of the 2000 people using the software know what is happening, and using them to test and help refine Wipster.
Wipster now also has a board of directors, a chief technical officer, designer, front end developer, “and myself”, says Wenlock.
But he’s a passionate promoter of Wipster, and leading the charge while learning new skills along the way.
He’s also clearly having a lot of fun in the new role.
“We’re always one step from failure; but by putting yourself in the firing line, there’s always the chance you’re going to succeed magnificently.”
Wenlock gave two (formal) pieces of advice – given that the entire 20 minute informal presentation was a wealth of how to’s.
- The importance of a startup getting to ‘product market fit’. This can take months – and is validated is when you get multiple customers buying the product
- Startup is a buzzword. Focus on what problem you are solving; and then what’s your solution is to that problem.
“Then tell everyone. Don’t secretly develop it, loudly develop it. You’re building a business, and that’s why nobody gives a s#@t about the idea – action is the only thing,” he says.
Wenlock calculates that if Wipster can be useful for 5% of the two million video producers, who will be happy to pay $49/month for the service, then a viable business can be created.
The Wipster team also has a range of additional features ready to be rolled out, which will compliment the core feature ‘comment on the video’, but it all needs validating…
Wenlock’s zeal for Wipster, and ability to succinctly explain why it is good and the problem it solves is obviously key to its ongoing success in such a short timespan.
The recent launch of the 9th edition of the TIN 100 (successful high technology companies) showed that much of NZ’s ICT international success is based on being in the cloud, with a SaaS (software as a service) for which recurring revenue is generated.
Wipster ticks all the boxes.
Don’t be surprised to see this Wipster weightless product making the lower echelons of the TIN 100 (the TIN 100+, more than $2 million in revenue a year) in the not too distant future.