galleri5 is a userAi??-generated visual content platform wherein users can upload photos from their phones, Facebook or Instagram accounts to contribute in building a oneAi??-stop destination for all user-Ai??generated content. Being one of its kind in the visual content discovery space, galleri5 holds the potential of competing with Pinterest and Instagram, attributing to its unique features such as original content that is ai???category basedai??i?? rather than ai???people basedai??i?? and ease with which users can discover new things (such as discovery of exciting places to travel to, interesting food to try out, experiences, fashion and decor ideas) through a visual medium.
IndiaSpark interviewed the galleri5 team to find out more about their interesting new venture.
1. Tell us about your CEOsai??i?? backgrounds before galleri5. Share with us briefly about their entrepreneurial journey and inception story of galleri5.
galleri5 was founded by Rahul Regulapati and Movin Jain. Rahul is an alumnus of IIT Madras and IIM Ahmedabad. He has more than five years of experience as a strategy consultant with Booz & Co and with Deloitte Consulting.
Movin studied Computer Science at IIT Delhi, and then did his MBA at IIM Ahmedabad, where he and Rahul were batch mates and also dorm mates. They have been a part of the IIM-A Placement Committee, and therefore have worked with each other extensively.
Early in 2015, Rahul and Movin were both individually looking to start something of their own but later they decided to take the plunge together. Rahul with his deep experience in digital and social media marketing, thought of content as an interesting space. Movin wanted to do something completely technology powered. Hence,this is how galleri5 was born.
2.Ai??What is galleri5 all about? Tell us in detail about the services offered and target segment?
galleri5 is a UGC (user generated content) powered visual discovery platform to help people find things in their areas of interest. We currently enable discovery of exciting places to travel to, interesting food to try out, experiences, and fashion and decor ideas from visual content created by people. Travel is the largest vertical on galleri5Ai??currently. In the future, we also intend to help people discover home decor, arts & crafts ideas.
Visual discovery on galleri5 is enabled through its in-house crowdsourcing and gamification engine. Users on galleri5 earn ai???Karmaai??? by adding amazing photos or by curating them to the most relevant topics. We also plan to bring in image recognition to make the curation of photos even more robust. Users can upload photos from their phones, Facebook or Instagram accounts. Thus galleri5 acts as an aggregator of photos from all these platforms, harnessing the full potential of user-generated visual content.
Most recently, galleri5 has taken a decisive step towards making its discovery features even more robust by updating the ai???Discoveryai??i?? tab. The next step is to introduce a feature that will help people discover places near their location, wherever they are in the world.
The target segment for galleri5 is people who love discovering new things to do through a visual medium. Our users range from school and college students who love photos and visual content to young working professionals with substantial disposable income and the passion to try new and interesting things.
3. What are the growth opportunities in this area? Can you share your views?
There are several growth opportunities in the visual content discovery space:Ai?? Ai??
Visual Discovery of user generated content: With over 2 billion photos being uploaded online every single day and with increasing proliferation of smartphones, the everyday photographer (like you and me) is the most powerful content creator today. In particular, interest Ai??based visual discovery is a very large opportunity.
Other visual media apps such as Instagram and to some extent Facebook, are becoming powerful marketing tools providing companies with the platform to have a closer interaction with their consumers. While most of the existing platforms are people based, there is no platform that allows users to follow a collection of these businessesAi??on the basis of their interests. galleri5 will provide such entrepreneurs with a captive audience,Ai?? enabling them to target audiences that are interested in the kind of products they offer.
4. What is your competition in the market? What is it that sets you apart from your competition? Ai??
Discovery Space: Our main competitor is Pinterest which currently enables the discovery of things across a range of topics.
Visual Content space:Ai??Instagram is our most important competitor in this space. However, in Instagram, a person still follows other individual accounts andAi?? hence, all photos may or may not be of relevance to her or him. In galleri5, a user can follow topics of interest alone and thus access the most relevant and interesting content.Ai?? Ai??
Engagement Levels: A very high percentage of galleri5’s users are engaged in creating and curating content. The standard 1-9-90 rule which applies to social forums where 1% creates content, 9% engages with content and 90% are lurkers who merely view content, has been turned on its head by galleri5 with more than 60% of its users creating and curating content.
5. What is the business model of Galleri5? Can you briefly summarize the growth achieved in both volume and value from the Day 1 till now?
Ai??(1) Engaging with brands to promote and sponsor UGC that talks about their brands on the app and
Ai??(2) To charge brands / businesses for using galleri5 content APIs.
6. How has been your beginnerai??i??s journey? What were the challenges you faced in setting up and scaling up your enterprise? Any hurdle that you faced or are still facing?
The journey so far has been amazing. We have learned a lot every single day and faced lots of challenges. These challenges have pushed us to surprise ourselves every time.
galleri5 is in a space that is almost unknown in India, and very few start-ups andAi?? investors are actively thinking about this space. That has brought its own set of challenges in raising funds as well as in hiring people. But it also sets us apart from all others and makes us a very unconventional startup. Hence, when we meet an investor or a potential employee who thinks like us and believes in our vision, it is easy to work together. We also cannot usually look to failures and successes of other startups for deciding our course, since very few startups globally have attempted to enter this space.
We are doing something new and are prepared for the grind. If it was easy, someone would have already done it.
7. Can you tell us about your other founders/core team, their background and rich experience?
Movin Jain: IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Delhi (Computer Science), Barclays Capital London (Trader), InMobi (Product Manager), AIR 11 in IIT JEE, represented India at International Math Olympiad, Mexico.
Rahul Regulapati: IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Madras, Deloitte, Booz & Company (strategy consultant), Adani Group (senior strategy role), significant experience in digital marketing.
Divya Suresh (marketing): Divya is a year junior to Rahul and Movin from IIM Ahmedabad where she was Media Secretary and managed PR for the institute for a year.Ai?? She worked at Hindustan Unilever Limited for 3 and half years across sales and marketing and recently quit to try something different.
Avismara Hugoppalu (technology): Graduated from Bangalore Institute ofAi?? Technology in 2014. With keen interest in programming and mobile space, he has worked on aAi?? variety of mobile applications, some of which are enterprise apps and some which have seenAi?? their way into app stores.
Sagnik Sinha (technology):purchase nolvadex He graduated from St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta withAi?? a B.Sc in Computer Science, following which he did his M.Sc from University of Pune in theAi?? same. He has been working as a techie since 2014 and galleri5 is his second work stint.
Radhika Chitalia (design): She studied design at Sophia Polytechnic in MumbaiAi?? and has 10 years of experience in print design and branding. She currently works as aAi?? graphic designer + Illustrator out of Copenhagen.
Maruti Nandan (technology): He completed his B.Tech from SRM university inAi?? Computer Science and was recruited at Wipro through campus placements. Disliking the bigAi?? company culture, he quit and joined Chennai based startup Vulcantech where he internedAi?? for 5 months.
Amit Tiwari (technology): He completed his B.E. from BIT Mesra in ComputerAi?? Science and got placed in Sapient where he interned for 6 months.
Natasha Aggarwal(technology and marketing): She studied B.Tech inAi?? Bioinformatics from Jaypee University of Information Technology, Solan. She worked as aAi?? software tester in Accenture for 3.5 years with various cross functional teams.
Shruti Sud (marketing): She studied English honors at Lady Shri Ram CollegeAi?? (Delhi) and went on to do an MBA from IIM Kozhikode. She has worked across sales andAi?? marketing in ITC, Whirpool and Hindustan Unilever Limited and has just joined the galleri5Ai?? team in marketing.
Ishwari Basu (marketing and content): Ishwari has studied sociology atAi?? Presidency University in Calcutta and will be graduating in July. galleri5 is her first job.
8. How is galleri5 funded? Any early stage money/seed stage experience that you would like to share with us? Ai??
We raised a round of funds from two marquee angel investors: TaxiForSure founder, Raghunandan G and RedBus founder, Phanindra Sama. Their belief in us makes us further confident of achieving what we want to achieve.
9. Any other areas or initiatives that you plan to venture into in future?
We plan to stick to our core objective of building a community around userAi??-generated visual content and enabling discovery of interesting stuff (travel, food etc.), through content. In the future, our app will have a way of finding out more information about a particular photo that you really like.
We also plan to make the discovery experience even more immersive across different categories.
In 10 years, we will be the oneAi??-stop destination for all user-Ai??generated content.Ai?? Billions of people interested in travel / food / fashion and other topics will come to our appAi?? regularly to see what other people with similar interests are doing, and get ideas. Brands and marketers will visit galleri5 to get insights into the kind of content their target customer segments are engaging with, and thereby get important insights for shaping their own strategy.Ai??We believe in right Person right Job . Hence our team will always remain small.
11. Any school/ campus connect initiatives that you are pursuing or plan to pursue?
We have run successful college activations at IIM Bangaloreai??i??s fest Unmaad and NIFT Bangaloreai??i??s fest Spectrum. We plan to replicate these activations at multiple college fests across Bangalore and Mumbai. The NIFT and IIMB activation resulted in several students joining the platform, and a lot of them are now our loyal users.
12. Any experience or advice you would like to share with soon to be startAi??up founders out there?
We would like to share with all aspiring founders that the startup ecosystemAi?? generates a lot of media attention and hype, which sometimes blinds us into giving tooAi?? much importance to numbers, appearances, funding, visibility etc. However, the true fun in Ai??building your own company is in the execution, in solving the thousands of problems thatAi?? you will face, in your own way. Being authentic to oneself, our team members and to the outside world is a core value that we have built galleri5 on and something that we shall never compromise.
Another aspect that we would like aspiring founders to keep in mind is that it takes a lot to build something from scratch. Your patience, determination and ability to bounce back will be tested at every step. Start only when you are ready for thisI? when youai??i??re so passionate about what you are doing, that you can take both failure and success in yourAi?? stride and continue to put in your best for many years together.
We wish the team well in all their future projects and hope they grow to be one of the most successful companies in the user generated, visual content discovery space.