A large number of people look forward to buying items they see on YouTube and other video platforms. This is mostly because of the insane amount of fashion and lifestyle content created through videos. It would be so much more convenient if one could shop directly from the video rather than scroll through numerous shopping websites trying to find what they are looking for. In this fast paced world people like quick and easy solutions.
Oyper is a tech startup that provides AI solutions for fashion e-commerce businesses to make any video content shoppable. In conversation with Kiryl Sidarchuk, CEO of Oyper, we learn more about Oyper and the services they provide.
What is the startup/product about? Give us a brief description of it.
Oyper is a Belarussian-American tech – startup specializing on AI/ML solutions for fashion e-commerce. We build computer vision and artificial intelligence solutions for fashion e-commerce businesses to make any video content shoppable. Our latest solution recently launched on Product Hunt is a unique Chrome extension that makes YouTube shoppable.
How many co-founders are there? Please introduce them and their backgrounds.
There are 4 co-founders at Oyper: Kiryl Sidarchuk (CEO), Aleksandr Krivolap (CTO), Uladislau Kaminski (CIO), Vitali Green (CFO).
Alexander and I got acquainted while studying at the University. We had plans of several common businesses, but as soon as I realized, that my next project is going to be a tech startup in fashion e-commerce, we decided to cooperate and work on it together. A bit later we got in touch with Uladzislau, Oyper’s present CIO. As our main goals and deep understanding of the product coincided, we started our partnership. A bit later due to my large network I got acquainted with Vitali, who has a large background in financing and is a member of New-York’s startup community.
Kiryl Sidarchuk: co-founder and CEO at Oyper. Serial entrepreneur. Master’s degree in Economics. Business geek.
Aleksandr Krivolap: co-founder and CTO at Oyper. Software engineer. Master’s degree in Economics.
Uladzislau Kaminski: co-founder and CIO at Oyper. Software engineer, developer, speaker.
Vitali Green: co-founder at Oyper. Former vice-president at Goldman Sachs, Investment banking. Finance geek.
All the members of Oyper’s team are enthusiasts united by the idea of changing, evolving and promoting new ways of online-shopping. I am extremely proud of my colleagues’ and thankful to them for their professional skills and their dedication to our product.
How big is the entire team currently?
Currently the team is formed by the 4 co-founders, as we are professionals in different spheres from financing to development, and several part/full time employees.
How did you come up with the idea? What motivated you to do this?
The idea of starting a tech business came up to me right after I got my Master’s degree in Economics. It was a very inspirational period. I just came from my trip to New York, where I had got an insight of what e-commerce required: fast and easy solution to make purchases of what you see on the screen. The increasing rhythm of life left little time for shopping. I decided to provide consumers with an ability to buy what they see on their cell-phones’ screens, laptops, even on their friends, using AI-based technologies. Instead of scrolling numerous online-shopping web-sites, Oyper offered a solution to buy clothes similar or exactly the same, you download to the app, to build your virtual closet and to generate outfits for different occasions. Back to that period, Oyper’s tool was really up-to-date and demanded.
Obviously, much time has passed. Technologies, markets and consumers’ needs have expanded. Continuously growing, developing and improving, Oyper turned into World’s first company to make YouTube shoppable.
What is your target market? Why do you think your product will appeal to?
Our target market is quite variable, as our solution gives large opportunities to businesses. As for stream API Oyper partners with fashion retailers and video providers. Our tool helps them sell clothes or other items and interact with people while using the content. It happens simultaneously. You just watch and buy!
Our latest unique product is an AI-based plugin that makes YouTube shoppable. It gives customers an outstanding opportunity to do shopping seamlessly while watching YouTube videos. The technology is a must-have for YouTube bloggers and video content providers.
To sum up, our product is oriented on all companies and individuals creating their video content.
What are the marketing plans apart from the product hunt/beta list launch? How are you planning to acquire new users?
Oyper is working in area of e-commerce, so our main clients are streaming services, video content providers, fashion retailers and bloggers. Inorder to acquire new customers we constantly communicate with these groups. We analyze the market in search for new co operations. We build strong connections with our partners all over the globe using various ways of communicating. Oyper is widely promoted in mass media, social networks, related communities. We use our personal network to attract customers as well. Having an outstanding tech-solution and a high professional reputation we try to attract customers in any accessible way. We pitch and present Oyper in international platforms and competitions. We also do some mentoring to enable individuals and companies with more details on Oyper’s solution and to motivate for making business connections.
Do you have a separate dedicated team to take care of marketing (digital marketing/traditional marketing)? Which digital platforms are you focusing more on?
Oyper has a separate marketing team, even though each Oyper team member contributes to promoting Oyper as well. As for the priority digital platforms, then we are in partnership with Google. We also cooperate with market places and video content providers.
What according to you is the biggest challenge that you faced? Is it product development or marketing or scaling or … ?
Making a startup means facing challenges every single day. As for my personal experience, I would say that the very first challenge I’ve faced was finding and uniting the product development team. When the idea of the product is formed and the market is analyzed building a competitive tool with a powerful team is crucial. The other challenge to any startup is finding the financing. Nowadays when lots of startups are built every day attracting financing to your product is a real competition. Raising money from various sources is constant work for every starting tech-company. The technology era leads to endless creating of new solutions and staying on the top of it requires much resources and financing turns to be one of the most significant.
Who are your competitors/alternatives? What sets you apart from them?
As for the competitors I must admit that we do obviously have competitors for our stream API, as this sphere is expandingly growing, due to the transformation of the the existing way of online-shopping. But I am extremely honored to say that our latest solution making YouTube shoppable is unique now, standing out of the crowd. We provide our customers with a technology that lets them do shopping seamlessly while watching YouTube videos. It is a brand new and evolutionary way of making online-shopping entertaining, fascinating and high-tech.
What are the future plans with the product/startup? Any new features you are planning on?
Oyper is a tech startup. It means that the development never stops. We have a strategy plan for building on Oyper. And currently we are working on a new tremendous tool in the sphere of making shoppable video content.
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