All-in-one video platform for modern businesses | Maxim Filippov - Contrast
- What is Contrast?
- What are the top Contrast features?
- Contrast pricing plans
- Contrast use cases
- Why do you think they chose you over your competitors?
- When did you start Contrast, and why?
- Contrast funding?
- What’s your vision with Contrast?
- What is your story, Max?
- Max’s advice for founders
- What’s your favorite software?
- Connect with Max
What is Contrast?
Max: Contrast is a solution that enables companies to create, edit, share, distribute and track their video content results. So you can think of us as a platform to create videos like the podcast we’re doing now. You can do webinars and go live. You can record customer interviews. So you can create anything video based that doesn’t require complex animations or things like this with Contrast.
What are the top Contrast features?
Max: Firstly, the studio – for example, your audience can see the titles and those things appearing and disappearing from the screen. And this is all possible from our recording or streaming studio, where you can also change the colors, add your logo, and create some cool layouts. So just several things to make the videos look better without needing a whole production team. So that’s the first feature. Because people have been doing so many online videos during the pandemic with Zoom, it looks so boring. So we’re trying to help you create a cooler-looking video. You can do it instead of doing it in post-production and having to do editing or hiring a freelancer, or learning some complicated tools. It’s super easy on our platform, and you don’t have to do it afterward. So that’s the first big feature.
The second one is the ability, when you finish recording or live streaming, the ability to, for example, create highlights or clips or edit your video right in the application. So instead of downloading the video, using another tool, re-uploading there, and then downloading it back and putting it somewhere else, you can do this straight in the application. I know the process exactly right. It’s a pain. And then, we’ve done several things on the viewer side to create a unique viewer experience. So with our software, you can create a channel like a branded YouTube or Netflix for your company, where you have all your replays. You also can share or embed the videos on your site with a kind, beautiful player. So just helping you provide a better viewer experience and not have to maybe, I don’t know, upload your videos to YouTube and just kind of use a boring player. You can create something a little more interesting that feels like Netflix.
Let’s say, in your case; I saw on Tekpon that you have a page with all your recordings. So we create something like this automatically for you. But it really kind of looks like Netflix or YouTube in the sense that you have. You can hover over the cards, see the video playing, and then within the player. For example, when people watch it, when a video is over, we suggest they watch some of your previous content. So you can create this media experience that we love in our personal lives but is missing in our work lives. So you can either live stream, or you can record. If you live stream, then you can invite people to watch you.
For example, we could have invited some people to watch our kind of chat and ask questions, and we could also interact with them. So, again, our customers do podcasts like you’re doing now, but they also do live webinars with an audience interacting with them. So you can have up to nine people in the studio simultaneously. So it could be the nine of us chatting now, but that would be crazy. But you can go up to nine if you’d like to.
Contrast pricing plans
Max: We are a freemium SaaS model. So you can already go to getcontrast.io and use the solution for free. And then once you reach a certain level of some people that come and watch the content on the platform and many videos created, you go into paying plans. And the way the paying plans work is we have effectively four tiers, €75, €188, and €450 per month. Those correspond to, again, a certain number of viewers that come and consume your content and a certain number of videos that are posted on our platform. The bigger your audience, the more videos you make. Ultimately, the higher you’ll pay. And then, we have an enterprise price plan with more complex integration, service, SLA, etc.
Contrast use cases
Max: Maybe the most recent one I loved was a cool company. Maybe they are listed on your marketplace; they’re called Mojo AI. It’s a European Gong competitor, like a sales training platform. And so they launched something with our tool called Mojo Tube, which is effectively like their own media and YouTube channel, powered entirely by Contrast, where they use us to create loads of content. And they have different members from their team easily, creating different types of content from interviews and shorter form content super seamlessly. And they’ve already built up their video content, to be. In the last month, I think they’ve made maybe ten-plus videos, ten plus nice pieces of content on their kind of Mojo platform, and have added more than maybe up to a couple of thousand already audience members. And everything ends to end, from creating to kind of editing to the hosting of the videos and distribution and the analytics, everything is powered by Contrast. So I thought that in such a short time, they managed to generate a massive audience and create a lot of really cool video assets very quickly. So check them out.
Why do you think they chose you over your competitors?
Max: I don’t think Zoom is your direct competitor. How do you view this? Yeah, it’s an interesting question. I think Zoom is maybe the tool that most companies used during the pandemic; it was their only video tool. And so interestingly, many companies use Zoom for the wrong use cases. They use it to record content or do things like this, although it’s a telecommunication tool. So we have some customers that switch from Zoom Webinars or Livestorm for the webinar use case. We also have the podcasting use case. We also have some customers from the tool you previously used, Riverside.
Why would people choose us? Well, there are, I think, three big reasons. First, most of those tools don’t focus on helping you make a cool branded video. It’s all boring, corporate, and flat. Usually, you have a little square here with a person’s face and a presentation. So they like us because you can create animations and transitions and brand the video. And that’s something that typically people are, so the video looks cool. The second reason they typically pick us is that video is a complex process where you typically have to use some platforms. If God forbid, you have to collaborate on the videos and kind of keep on sending videos back and forth with comments.
You can’t edit the videos yourself and need a video editor. Then you have to tell them, oh, minute 1:38, please add the title and then make the logo appear and disappear. And it’s a nightmare. And they don’t need to do that because, in the studio, they set up their transitions, their look and feel, the logos, and so on. It’s very easy. And so all this work they don’t need to do in post-production, they don’t need to pay, or they don’t need to ask a video editor to do it. And so the speed at which they can get to a result, the end product, the video endlessly is massive. And then the first one is all the work we’ve done with feeding the data to your CRM, like the integrations and the analytics. We’ve done huge amounts of work there. And that would be the third reason they would typically pick us.
When did you start Contrast, and why?
Max: So we started a bit under a year ago, and the way we came up with the idea is its many reasons. The first one is that I, as a millennial, can barely write or read anymore. If it’s not in a video, I don’t get it. I’ve always loved that media, and, like everybody on the planet, we were stuck on Zoom, and I thought it was just so boring. So atrocious, and at my previous company, we tried to create some content at the same time, we were running multiple software startups, and we realized how much of a pain it was to record, like, a little interview or do some of those things.
And so we thought, this is crazy. There must be a better rate. This is how we started Contrast. We are 14 people today. We’re still a small company, mostly engineering, product, and design, and I’m doing some sales. And we have recently brought in an amazing kind of growth guy. We’re still small but growing. We have an incredible engineering team of guys who worked before at companies like Algodia or Airpcall. So we have quite an amazing product.
Max: Yes, we’ve raised €2.4 million in pre-seed capital, which we haven’t announced. So, I don’t know. We decided to stay under the radar and focus on building the product and kick-starting the commercial side. So, we raise some money with some top European VCs. We are working remotely, and today we are technically based out of Paris. The company is incorporated in France, but our team members are split between the UK and France.
What’s your vision with Contrast?
Max: It’s super simple. In our personal lives, like any teenager can take out our phone, start recording, add some filters, edit it a little bit, send it out, see how many people watch, and see the results. Today you can use Instagram and TikTok. It’s super easy. It takes 1 minute to do this whole workload. Create, edit, distribute and track at work. If you want to do the same at work, it takes you weeks. You need to use like ten different platforms. It’s a mess. Right? And so, we want to create a video and use it simply in people’s work and personal lives. And my belief and my vision are that video, which now kind of everybody prefers, will be used to communicate information as much as maybe PowerPoint or Word docs will be used. So ultimately, our goal is to power most departments of most companies to be able to express themselves with video.
What is your story, Max?
Max: So look, before starting Contrast, I was an investor, or before founding a company, I was an investor. So a venture capital investor. So the back story is that I kept seeing all those amazing people come and pitch and be super successful, and at some point, I was like, you know what, I need to try this for myself as well. So that was something that was always in the back of my mind. And, if you go, even before that, I went into venture capital in the first place because I was coming out of university. While at university, I founded a company with a friend, and we made a complete mess. I wanted to create something, but we were too young and dumb. And so we shut down the company, and I thought to myself, okay, I need to get some work experience, and probably it would be good for me to go into venture capital because that way I’ll get to see a lot of companies and meet investors and so on. And so that was the idea, essentially. And the reason why I went to venture capital in the first place was that I thought to myself, that way when I start a business will be easier, I’ll be smarter, and so on. So that was the theory.
I did kind of start backward, but look, being an investor is a completely different job from being a founder. But there are a few things I got out of or are helping me be a better founder. So, firstly, being able to analyze businesses and see trends and opportunities, seeing hundreds and hundreds of companies, and analyzing them was ultimately quite useful. But it doesn’t prepare you for the other thousand difficult things you face as a founder. But it was a useful experience, for sure. The good news is, as previously I was an investor, I got to meet a lot of other investors as well. So that is potentially a bonus.
Max’s advice for founders
Max: I think there’s only one. And I don’t think it’s the smartest people that win. I don’t even think it’s necessarily the most hard-working people that win. I think it’s the people that never quit. Right. You have to keep going, keep going, keep going. And I think the founder’s life is just every time there’s pain and jump on it, right? And keep going until you hit that beautiful moment where everything goes super well. But I think it is a story of grit.
What’s your favorite software?
I have to say I quite like Pitch, the presentation software. And in this sense, our philosophy is a little bit similar. They’re trying to do for presentations a little bit what we’re trying to do for video content creation. So I think it’s a cool product, and they have those templates and things to make it easier for you to create better-looking stuff. Pretty easy, very simple.
It’s hard to say that I’m in love with HubSpot. I think it’s a very great tool, but it’s also a CRM tool. So it’s hard for me to say, oh my God, I love it, but it’s fantastic. I’m very impressed by HubSpot because of its incredible business, and they’re very clever at making you pay more. I think this is the thing that I find most amazing. They know exactly the biting points to kind of make you pay. They detect the pain points and nowhere to put the thing to make it convert. So I’m impressed by that software.
Connect with Max