The company’s developments will get there by the end of the summer, if another mouth movement, with different text, is cut into an original video, a layman will not tell you that the material has been manipulated.
Even if commissioned, Colossyan is producing exactly what it has been fighting against. Is it okay if the host doesn’t know you’re watching a manipulated video, even if it was made for ethical purposes?
“We don’t want technology to break free. It’s not a B2C product, we don’t want to reach end-users.” They want to work closely with corporate clients to keep control in their hands — it’s also true that the legal and other responsibilities to the target audience they want to reach with the videos are largely borne by the client.
“It could be the market niche we need, but we need to find uses where people aren’t bothered. It could also be an area where there was no video technology so far because it was expensive. ”
Pricing will be a key issue. “Our competitors charge € 20–50 for up to 50 videos, we want to be cheaper than that. The goal is to produce videos at a lower unit price, but up to 5,000 or 50,000. ” Dominik says they are technologically there among the more mature racers. Colossyan — like most Hungarian startups — would enchant the world in a Software-as-a-service model, where subscribing customers could modify their videos for the right purpose by dragging them to the right interface.
Together with the pivot, they did not run out of money completely, partly from the possible projects, partly from the seed circle, but by the summer of 2021, they ran out of funding. They are now among the listed actors in their field, but in order to level up, they have to win the best skulls to work together. This already required serious investor capital.
In January 2021, Dayone Capital contacted the team, and the conversation ended with a reshaped company structure by June and an investment circle. The leading investor is the Hungarian Dayone Capital, in addition to which — as a sign of its confidence — APX also added new capital, several angel investors joined here, partly from Dayone’s network of contacts and partly from the international relations system of the team. Finally, an investment round of EUR 1 million (HUF 360 million) was closed at the beginning of July.
“We consciously started to discover talents who have a Hungarian connection. We have to be proactive in this because international funds come in and strike at good companies — the Craft deal is a good example of this, ”Zsolt Weiszbart, Dayone Capital’s partner, tells Forbes.hu about the contact.
“In Eastern Europe, deep tech companies are preferred because they build technology at a lower price level. The team had a track record, proving that they can build a product, ”he explains why they decided to invest. However, the risks are high.
“It’s a bet, we see that too because this area is very new. However, such investments need to be made in the next 5 to 10 years. Plus, it’s a typical industry that can explode a lot, and the guys s are now at the forefront. ”
“I think we’re ready by now,” Dominik says in a calm voice, leaning back. Along with the company structure, the processes were also redesigned, and in fact, there were those who got rid of them because they felt they were not ready to take the step ahead. In addition to the American parent company, there is a Hungarian subsidiary, most of the project team will work from Budapest, but the company is also present and operating globally, they will not exhaust the gray stock, all new employees can stay where they are.
“We took classic seed pricing, we got a part for the investment that meets international standards, “ says Zsolt Weiszabart. It would come as no surprise that, in addition to the conservative business done so far, the capital now raised would last until the next, Series A round. Dominik counts as a 12–18 month runway .
“By the end of next year, we want to get there to have a niche market where we can solve only one problem globally, with very high quality, but it does it very well,” says Dominik. The company, which now has 9 employees, wants to double its headcount for such times, but not for the number, for the quality of the people.
According to Weiszbart, in addition to gaining the right talent and brains, it will be important for the team to be able to continue to work in a focused manner, both on the product and business development side. “There’s no time or money pressure on the team right now, they have time to figure out exactly where the story is going.”
In a year or two, humanity will win against the covid, and the summer period between the two waves is marked by the euphoria surrounding personal encounters, all indications are that the world is longing for more video.
Just as Zoom, which has become an iconic company of the era and has recently announced a major acquisition, is not falling, so is investor capital flowing unstoppably into video technology.
Let’s watch the videos, even if what they are telling is true, even if it is false.
Weiszbart is still optimistic, according to him, camouflage video detection as a product will be interesting for the market in 3–4 years. But don’t deny, like any early-stage investment, it’s also an “all or nothing” story. If the megatrend strikes, it could have a serious impact not only on Colossyan but on our lives as well.
And Dominik, who is still only 23 years old, and his fellow young founders still have time to experience what it’s like when they dictate to the market — and not the other way around.
By GERGŐ ZSIBORÁS