iRewind is a software solution that automatically captures, edits and delivers instantly personalized videos to participants in sport events. It has provided the solution to more than 300 events across the globe with over 1 million videos delivered. In March the startup from Lausanne was acquired by Yoveo, a Swiss global leader in video technology. The acquisition establishes Yoveo in personalized mass video production technology. We sat down with co-founder Salvador Garcia Zalduegui to talk about the successful exit.
Salvador was part of venture leaders 2014. If you want to be as successful as Salvador, apply (until May 14th 2017) for the upcoming edition of venture leaders Fintech in New York, which is organized by venturelab and partners. If you are ready to conquer global markets and want to meet with industry leaders from the US, then this program is made for you.
Salvador, can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I’m half Spanish half Austrian and I grew-up in Geneva. I studied at the University of St. Gallen and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Business administration. Since I was a child, I have always been passionate about innovative and creative products, always wanting to own the latest trend. Related to that came my first experience reselling products to friends and family members. I bought limited Pokémon cards edition in Hong-Kong, rare kind of sweets from the US and other products that weren’t available in our market by reselling them with a small margin. This was fun but my dream was to build my own company, with an open-mindset culture, and create products that really bring value added to the consumer. Since then I created several small startups to gain experience and co-founded iRewind in 2013, which was then sold begin of 2017 to Yoveo, a Swiss company specialized in video technologies & strategies.
What is iRewind? What problem do you solve?
iRewind is a company specialized in the production of personalized video memories at mass events. We developed various technologies that enable to automatically capture, edit and distribute personal video content. The idea came when we were skiing together and found-out that we couldn’t easily get a good footage of us while skiing. Don’t get me wrong, we did get great footage from the action camera, but as the son of Bogdan (co-founder) pointed out to him by saying:” Daddy where are you on the video?” we understood that there was something that could be done. To solve the issue, we decided to build a system and infrastructure that enables each sportsman and sportswomen, whether amateur or professional, to receive a cool video memory from their experience in a third POV, so they could fully concentrate on enjoying the moment!
A promo clip of iRewind
You were part of the venture leaders China 2014. How did that roadshow help you to grow as a company?
This was truly an epic adventure for me in several ways. From a practical point of view I got to understand the difficulties, but also the opportunities that there are in penetrating the Chinese market, and ultimately realized the efforts and changes that needed to be done for our company development.
Nevertheless, venture leaders is much more than that. They bring similar founders together, who challenge the status quo in a fast paced environment by taking decision on how to run their business. Thus, I was able to interact with other great founders and exchange with them about how to manage growth and success. That’s where I got the most learning out of all this experience, being inspired by these founders state of mind and learn how to apply it to my own experience.
What did you learn there?
I basically learned everything about how to do business in China by better understanding their cultural, economical and political heritage. Considering and respecting their tradition helps you better identify the potential of your innovation for the local market. Thus, to be able to satisfy or create a demand can require tremendous adaptation in product development for this market. This learning was not specific to the Chinese market, but was rather a generally applicable method for any company with the desire to have global footprints. This made me more aware of the challenges behind an international growth strategy and the organizational structure needed to be successful during the rollout of such plans.
Would you recommend it to other entrepreneurs?
I would definitely recommend it to any entrepreneur and specifically to those that lack of international experience. The whole trip was amazingly well organized and can be of interest for any entrepreneur, even those with experience can learn from the workshops organized by venture lab and from their peers. During my trip I was the youngest (23 at the time) and the eldest one was roughly 70 years old. There was not gap in generation or genders, we were at the same level and that’s pretty unique.
Recently, Yoveo acquired your company. How did that come about?
The decision to sell the company was rather due to an opportunity. We didn’t really look to sell the business, but the offer made by Yoveo at the time and considering the situation we were in -looking to raise new funds, was the best decision to make. Obviously I had mix feeling at the beginning. On the one hand I was relieved and happy that together with our founding team we have created something that has value and that will continue to live beyond. On the other hand, it was kind of our baby and I did not want to let it go too early. Selling a company at an early stage, as we have done it, gave me the filling that your kid left home to early and that you wished you had more time with him.
How will it help you and help Yoveo?
Yoveo offered me the opportunity to work with them on the future development of iRewind, which I accepted, as I still have some exciting aspirations for the future of the company. iRewind fits perfectly into the structure of Yoveo, it’s the missing piece of their puzzle. With iRewind, they are now able to consolidate their business in the video industry and provide video solutions at all levels.
What were the biggest struggles for you to get to the point where you are right now?
Raising funds for an ICT business in Switzerland was not an easy task for us. Several times we were confronted to the question of leaving Switzerland, as we received attractive proposals from European funds and other investors outside of Switzerland.
What are the next steps?
Since the acquisition, we have totally shifted the iRewind business strategy and restructured part of the product to add new features and applications for an unrestricted distribution of the technology. The goal is to make it accessible to everyone, so that more people around the world can use the iRewind technology. Thus, we are now on track with the new B2B model and in discussions with several global partners to implement the iRewind solution.