Entrepreneur Ajay Bam says his company, Vyrill, helps brands and retailers increase revenue and find new customers by leveraging authentic fan video content like reviews, unboxing videos, how-to videos, and more. A product management professional and self-described innovator with 15+ years of experience in startups, web/mobile marketing, payments and e-commerce, Bam talks with us about the Vyrill story.
Listen to the complete interview of Ajay Bam with Mission Matters Innovation Podcast.
How did you get started?
"I'm fortunate to come from an entrepreneurial family," Bam says. "The value system for entrepreneurship and being an entrepreneur came to me from my parents. I'm both a computer scientist and an MBA, selling shopping behavior for about 15 years. I have built a mobile shopping app company called Modiv Media in Boston, worked for Nokia, the phone company (and) launched the app store in about 35+ countries worldwide. I study online and offline shopping behaviors."
"After Nokia," he goes on, "I joined UC Berkeley as a lecturer, teaching innovation and startups at Haas school of business for years. While I was there, I was already thinking, 'what's next?' I began noticing that many customers are watching and creating videos before and after they shop such as video reviews, unboxing, how-to videos" And thus, Vyrill was born four years ago.
How does Vyrill work?
"What makes Vyrill unique is, we help brands by matching millions of videos on YouTube to their product catalog, category, brand, competitor, keyword, and hashtag," Bam says. "Once we match the video to a product, we go inside and parse the audio, text, and images." Vyrill makes in-video searchable and useful, so brands can find rate, rank and license top videos to promote and shoppers can instantly search product features in the video to make purchase decisions without having to watch the entire video. The vision, he explains, is to influence the entire shopping journey from beginning to end and beyond with video aka from search to product pages to shopping cart to buy. Vyrill is building a google for video and can google inside the video to enable video insights and commerce.
Closing the Seed Round
Vyrill recently closed a $2 million seed round from investors, including leaders at Google Shopping, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Airbnb, Pinterest, Amazon and Microsoft.
The company is currently hiring, including an open position for a Director Of Engineering, and a variety of marketing and sales rep roles. The recent funding round, Bam says, will further build out Vyrill's infrastructure to analyze more videos and serve more brands and retailers with e-commerce tools.
What's next for Vyrill?
"We need to get to certain milestones with revenue," Bam says. "We're generating revenue; we have over 50 brands and retail customers... (they) include companies like Google, Android, Revlon, Porsche, AirAsia, Sargento, etc.
He says hiring additional talent is a priority as well. "We have a team of 15, and it's a diverse team," Bam notes. "Half of the group, including the engineering team, is women. We have seven ethnicities and 20 languages on the team. We have a robust culture and value system in our company. I'm interested in not just having great Vyrill employees, but in having great world citizens, too. I want everyone who enters the company to be proud of working with Vyrill and the standard we have set here."
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