India GameChanger was psyched to have Vinayak Shrivastav, a co-Founder and the CEO of VideoVerse on the show.  VideoVerse is a “Universe of video applications, powered by deep learning.”  It is hard to impress me…but this definitely did.
Some of the topics Vinayak covered:
  • Deciding to build what became VideoVerse and working for two years to build the core technology
  • Being a sports fan and how that may have influenced the product
  • How customer collaboration is key to building a great product
  • Aiming to build all the tools that media companies need
  • Creating immersive experiences
  • Investing in the media and video ecosystem
Other titles we considered for this episode:
  1. If I Don’t Start It Now, I Don’t Know When I Will Be Able To
  2. You Make a Lot of Sacrifices to Make It Big
  3. For the First 10 Minutes the Entire System Was Down
  4. You Can Livestream Together
  5. It Started to Work Only When We Thought It Wouldn’t Work
This episode was produced by Isabelle Goh.

Read the best-effort transcript below (This technology is still not as good as they say it is…):

Michael Waitze 0:25
Hi, this is Michael Waitze. And welcome back to the India GameChanger. You’re smiling now I like it. Today we are joined by Vinayak Shrivastav, a co founder and the CEO at VideoVerse. Vinayak. It’s great to have you on the show. How are you doing today?

Vinayak Shrivastav 0:40
Good. Michael, thank you so much for having me super excited to be here.

Michael Waitze 0:43
It’s my pleasure. And before we get into the main part of the conversation, and I start asking you about the ring light behind, you want to get a bit of your background for some context.

Vinayak Shrivastav 0:53
Sure. So my personal background has been that obviously, I grew up in Pune, which is a city in India, I did my engineering from Pune, complete my engineering, worked for a year in Pune, and moved on to London did my MBA from LBS, after which obviously, didn’t land up a job immediately in London, so came back to India, and had this massive student loan that had piled up on me over the 15 months that I spent in London. So needed a fancy job to pay it off really well. And quick, that was the main agenda there was lucky got ended up getting a gig at a venture capital fund, which is an early stage ecosystem, where we were trying to find media companies and mobility companies across India and US. So it was paying Well, we obviously enjoyed working there as well, for the first year. And a year was enough for me to pay off my student loan. As soon as I paid off my student loan, the first thing that came to my mind was, let’s move out of here, because that’s not what I want you to do, right. But what really happened during the year was, I kept getting excited to meet new entrepreneurs, and just realize that, you know, probably, this is the right time to start something. There’s no load on me, I don’t have any liabilities sitting on me, if if I don’t start something now, I don’t know when I will be able to. But to my surprise, I didn’t exactly start immediately, right. Like I had a lot of ideas. But I didn’t start immediately took up a consulting gig immediately after that, because it was a direct transition from investing in media companies, and then consulting for a media company. Did that for like seven months? And after which I actually started the company in 2016. So that’s kind of been the early days for me.

Michael Waitze 2:41
Did you think when you’re going to school, everyone, you’re an engineer, and even when you were growing up, that you’re going to be an entrepreneur? Because one of the things that you said that was interesting, right? And this is not true for a lot of people that come on the shows is that you graduated from your MBA in London, which is neat. Yeah. And then I just want to go find a job. But I couldn’t find a job in London, which I find kind of shocking. So I came home. Do you think if you’d stayed in London and had a job that you just would have stayed there and worked at that job for a while? Or was it the same kind of strategy, I’ll get a job pay off my loan, and then I just have to go do my thing on my own? What do you think?

Vinayak Shrivastav 3:13
Not? Not at all? I think if if I would have got a job in London, I wouldn’t be back in India, mainly honestly, really. Because I I always wanted to kind of, you know, land a gig in London, unfortunately, because of various reasons I was not able to write the work visa was not able to come through were really cool internship that I was doing in London, and the guys offered me to kind of stay back and you know, try and apply for it. But things are getting a little tight for me, right? There’s loans that are piled up, I couldn’t afford to kind of continue doing an internship needed to land a serious gig, which was going to pay me serious money, so I couldn’t start repaying the loan back. So yeah, if I did stay back in London, I don’t think I would have come back to India, at least for three to four years, at least.

Michael Waitze 3:59
So there was no like, look, a lot of the people that I talked to say there was always this itch inside me that I needed to scratch about running something on my own. I’ve always had a bunch of ideas. And I just wanted to implement them. And I get it. Look, when I graduated from college, I had a decent amount of student loan student debt as well. And that’s why I went to Wall Street because I wanted to pay it off. And I got stuck actually there with what they had called at the time golden handcuffs, right? Because every year you make a little bit more money. And I just got stuck. So I paid off my student loans and then just stayed in the drudgery for like 20 years for leaving, by the way, in a way not getting a job in London may have been a good thing. Now.

Vinayak Shrivastav 4:38
Another way to think of it, obviously, it was probably the best thing that happened to me. Back then it was looking like a curse, right? I only mean because most of the people in my batch ended up getting a cool job in London. So I was like why me? You know, why did I really do something wrong? You know, what’s really happening? A lot of questions right? You keep getting these questions when you kind of going through the phase. That’s exactly what I To me, I was I was in a phase where I was kind of, you know, questioning myself and I was questioning my decisions at the same time. So, though I didn’t really have an option, but I’m glad it happened, you know, I’m glad where it landed up today and where we are. Because if that wouldn’t have happened, I wouldn’t have come back to India, I wouldn’t have taken up the gig with a venture capitalist fund. I wouldn’t have, you know, gotten bitten by the entire entrepreneurial bug. And I wouldn’t have started this. So there’s a lot of connections that got built into this, I would say,

Michael Waitze 5:33
when you look back at the experience you had at the venture capital business, which in and of itself is its own kind of unique thing, right? Are there things that you got out of that year and a bit that you still carry with you today? Do you know what I mean? Like just your ability to and I don’t know what you were doing there, but I’m sure you did some sort of deal sourcing deal analysis and stuff like that?

Vinayak Shrivastav 5:53
Yeah. I wouldn’t say really, it’s an apples to apples, that kind of, you know, for sure. So, being on that side of the table is very different. Because your idea there is to kind of, you know, try and find cool founders, you’re basically trying to find, you know, new ideas, you’re trying to find ideas that can actually make money. So you’re trying to kind of, you know, weigh with the businesses very differently. The minute you flip over to the other side, your thought process changes, because then you understand that the old me was a complete jackass, right? He knew nothing about the business, he was just an outsider who had a overview, a 10,000 feet overview, who was trying to understand my business without really getting into it. And it’s just going to make his assumptions based on some Excel sheet. So I really appreciate what you know, the investors do today, because it takes a lot of courage to kind of, you know, make up your mind, and kind of, you know, have the conviction to go after the company. And, you know, invest in it. But at the same time, I, after coming to the side, I’ve just become more, I would say empathic towards the entrepreneurs, because I know what it takes to kind of make it right, it takes a lot of a lot of your sacrifices coming in people who say that entrepreneurship is, you know, swanky fancy, you know, things go easy, have never really kind of done it the right way, they do it the right way. The bunch of sacrifices you and those sacrifices are not easy things, you know, you let go of a social life after the point of time you let go of your friends, you let go of your family, you kind of go into this nutshell that you’re trying to kind of crack open yourself, and you put yourself in it, you never wanted to go in it, but you put yourself in it because you wanted to, you know, kind of make it big. And that’s something that most of the investors I can get don’t understand. And I wouldn’t blame them. It’s just,

Michael Waitze 7:48
they just don’t know, right? In other words, if you’ve never had a pizza, and you just look at a pizza, you can say, I think I know what that tastes like. But until you actually put it in your mouth and have a few different types of them, you’re not going to know, I want to ask you this though, if you don’t mind. Do you know part of being an entrepreneur is is like you have to be really focused. Yeah. And you said like, you know, you lose the connection with your family, with your friends and all this other stuff. And it’s weird, right? Because you have to kind of make a decision that I’m going to block this stuff out. Because if I don’t block it out, I’m literally not gonna have enough energy and time to build this thing that I’m really committed to building. And it’s weird to write I remember when I was in college and tell me if this is similar. One of the guys that came to school to talk to us on career day said, if you go to Wall Street and join one of these analyst programs, which was really popular when I was graduating from school, he said, Look, at the last minute, you’re gonna cancel dinner with your friends, and you’re gonna find out who your real friends are. By the ones that just go, it’s okay, we’ll see each other next week, it doesn’t really matter, because you’re gonna let everybody down. And it’s weird, right? Because as an entrepreneur, you’re trying not to let anybody down. But at some point, you have to have changed the category of people that you’re not letting down. If that makes sense. You don’t I mean,

Vinayak Shrivastav 9:02
it kind of your so I would, I would say what really happens is that the minute you get into this, obviously you want to become a people person because that’s the biggest trait that every entrepreneur needs to have. Unfortunately, that you know, you need to get people excited to join you everything is about getting people excited, right? You want to get your investors excited, you want to get your clients excited, you want to get your you know, fellow colleagues and excited you want to get your co founders excited you want everyone to be excited about this grand vision that you have, right? But what really happens is you’re basically putting on a mask right? You basically know that this is all what you have to do to make a successful which is not a bad thing. I would say no, what what really starts happening here is that yes, when you understand that this is what you need, do you start losing track of the actual reality for yourself, right? What that means is, you start losing reality with your friends, you start losing time with your family, because now you have these are The jobs to do. Point Yeah, yeah. And that’s exactly what really ends up happening. And it’s, it’s what we don’t want to do. I would say, it’s not a natural instinct that happens now. But it just kind of picks up while you kind of get passionate about what you’re building.

Michael Waitze 10:18
Yes. So what is this vision? Right, this thing that you want to get everybody excited about? The investors, the and the hiring thing, I think it’s actually really important to write, how to get people to actually jump on this ship with you, is also really hard. But let’s back up and say, What is this big vision that you have?

Vinayak Shrivastav 10:38
So let’s talk about what video was right? For the context here. So the idea of video was was very simple when it came to us, right? We kind of knew that we were a little bit ahead in terms of what we’re trying to build. And I wouldn’t use the word I would say disruptive because that’s used way too many times these days, I would say, we just tried to do something very differently. That was basically where it was right? And we knew that there will be an acceptance to what we’re building because we had an initial kind of a cohort built around the kinds of customers we wanted to go after. So everyone here who’s listening to us, what would you was does today is spelled smart editing tools, right. So within the company, we have three different kinds of tracks running the first track is an enterprise track, where we actually automate curation of your editing. What that means is, if you’re watching a soccer match, you’re watching an f1, you’re watching a tennis match. watching cricket, any of these games that you’re watching online these days, has an element of instant key moments and highlights that get created, the audiences can watch in real time. That’s something that we do automatically, because it’s very difficult to kind of do it at scale in volume manually.

Michael Waitze 11:47
How does that happen? So I just want to make sure that I understand this. Let’s say I’m watching an f1 race, right, which is super cool. So I’m watching a race f1 Race in Monaco in Singapore, it doesn’t matter to me. And you’re right. Like if there’s, you know, for no better reason, if there’s a crash or something exciting happens if somebody overtakes somebody or something unexpected happens. Are you suggesting that the video software itself can see that and notice it through artificial intelligence and say, I’m going to create a clip of that right now?

Vinayak Shrivastav 12:15
Oh, absolutely. That’s how it works. So what we basically do is we, we run three, artificial intelligence modules, right? We run OCR, we run speech to text we done actually an object detection tool within the content. Got it, okay. So, so what we do is basically, when on an example, Hamilton has just done a past, maybe on say, Alonso, which didn’t happen, unfortunately, or the last weekend, Monaco, if that would have happened, we would have understood by these three different elements, and we would have created an exact moment on the screen, where the past would have happened.

Michael Waitze 12:49
So you’re so because the announcer is saying something right, like Hamilton just passes along. So you know that because you’re listening for that. But you’re also watching the video at the same time with another module. And then I forget what the third one is that all three of those combined, say, we gotta cut this out and make this into something new right away?

Vinayak Shrivastav 13:05
Absolutely, we cut it out. And we actually don’t make it into just a single aspect ratio. Because today, you can see, these clips have to be weighed dynamic as to where you’re consuming it. If you’re consuming this on, say, a social media, the social media aspect ratios are so different, like you want a one to one, you want a nine by 16, you want a 16 by nine, so we’ll help you convert into all those dynamically will also help you make it a little bit more, I would say insightful and consuming at the same time. So we want to make it sexy, we want to make it sexy, the content needs to be sexy for you to consume it, that means that you cannot just have a blank video, they’re just you know, the moment you have like, three, you only want to have a post. So we kind of help you add all of that in real time and just you know, spit out the content in less than like two seconds. That’s how fast it goes. And because it’s going that fast.

Michael Waitze 13:51
So what is the pre and post stuff? Because I get now what the main video thing is, and that’s actually super cool, right? Because before, you’d have to have some guy yelling at some other guy, go on, cut that out and like do this thing and make that thing. And while he’s doing that three other people are doing the pre and the post stuff. And then they’re stitching it together using Adobe Premiere and stuff. It gets hard, right? So Greg, what is the pre and the post? Where does that come from?

Vinayak Shrivastav 14:11
So it’s usually preferred, right? And so for example, it can be your entire ad inventory, it can be maybe a simple sleeve that says that catch a quick f1 highlight, right, or something or something with the broadcaster logo. So it’s something that will just kind of create a moment of say, you know, a quick urgency into the content, or it can just be that I can type in text saying that Hamilton’s pass on all on. So right, yeah. And then it just has some context to the content. That’s all.

Michael Waitze 14:37
That is super. So you said you have three of these things. So one is enterprise that is super cool. How long did it take you guys to build that?

Vinayak Shrivastav 14:45
It took us two years. I wouldn’t say we have yet stopped building it. But for sure. But I mean, just to get to a point where it’s useful. Yeah, absolutely. It took us two years to kind of get it to a point where it was absolutely useful. So most of the early years was gone into the lap in 2018 is when we actually went live with a Betta 2019 is when we actually started monetizing. And trust me the first three years was the most frustrating one, because we had burned out the entire savings into it. And we really wanted to kind of make this work at a point in 2019, when we actually ended up making first year money, we told ourselves, me and my, you know, the other co founders socket. And we told ourselves that we got to make this work. If this doesn’t work, we’re not going to get emotional about it. And we’re going to try and figure something else. So we’re at that point where we’re like, I know this works now. Or we kind of figured out what what next, right, let’s not over push it,

Michael Waitze 15:35
or all three of you sports fans, because this seems uniquely useful for sports. Oh,

Vinayak Shrivastav 15:41
I’m a crazy sports fan. I definitely know that socket is. But Alec isn’t much of a sports fan. But he’s a he’s a hardcore tech junkie, I will say that, you know, the age that he has, is in trying to kind of build something new always. And the age that socket gear gets always us to kind of try and kind of find new things to do, right. He’s just an operator at heart. So I feel truly kind of, you know, blessed and happy at the same time. But you know, I was able to find the right set of people to do this with because no matter what you say, you want the right set of people to do this with you. You want them to kind of be your friends, your family, you want to fight with them, you want to be happy with them, you want to sing with them. So it’s everything together.

Michael Waitze 16:24
Do you remember because you said like, the first couple years are the hardest, right? So the most frustrating because you’re building this thing, and you can’t even give it to anybody to see like the outcome of it, right? You can test it yourselves. But it’s never gonna work at the beginning, right? This is the sort of these are the dark moments for all entrepreneurs really like, Okay, what’s the status of that? What’s the status of this? Can we get it? Do we know what they’re saying? Do we know what that video looks like? It’s not synced like all this kind of stuff that makes you crazy. Do you remember that moment where you like, actually, were watching something you used this thing? Which is magnify? Yeah. Use magnify, and you’re like, oh, no, that they weren’t? Do you know what I mean?

Vinayak Shrivastav 17:02
So what we did is, we probably I would say, we try kind of making our early customers. Also power testers. Right? What happened is, we actually went to them while we were developing this, this entire phase, we actually shamelessly went to them and said that, look, guys, we don’t want anything from you. I know you can’t use this tool today. Why don’t you just keep testing it for us. And I really owe it to the only guys that really stepped in and said, Guys, we appreciate what you’re trying to build. We might not be able to use it today. But we’ll test it for you. And that was the best thing to happen that we got them to test it so much as by the time the tool actually went live, right in beta and 2018. We’re actually we’re going through all the problems that they were going through. So the first time the product went live, and other sort of funny stories. First time the product went live. For the first 10 minutes, the entire system was down. And we were taken aback. We were like, oh, no, it can’t happen after two years, like we’ve tested it. And it was with the same person that we were testing it and we went live. And they were like, it was not working out guys. And exactly when he was about to shut the system down. I don’t know what really happened. But the systems are working, he could start seeing the clips coming in. Later on, obviously, we are able to kind of understand why that happened. We had a low grade system in place, which we upgraded later on. But we got lucky. We got lucky just when he was about to shut down and say that look, guys, I’ve put in enough time with you. It’s all working. And we’re going to be able to do this anymore. That’s when it started working. And fortunately, today, today, they’re one of the biggest clients that we serve. That’s so scary, isn’t it? Yeah, absolutely. It is the scariest thing that can happen to you.

Michael Waitze 18:50
Yeah, I don’t even know what to say. So what else is what else is part of the sweetest stuff that you have?

Vinayak Shrivastav 18:56
Sharp, so that’s magnified that we just spoke about, then the steak, which is basically a multi streaming platform, which allows influencers prosumers, the new tongue, the industry users to go live on multiple social platforms using different tool sets that has been built to the persona. So if you’re seeing a gamer, you’ll have a different set of tools built into the back end, which will be able to take life so you’d be able to have like a different skins, you’d have to have different kind of, you know, settings built into it. If you’re an influencer, you have a different set of Persona built into it. So that’s what the tool does. It’s basically a bunch of things that gives you easy free flow access to go live on multiple social platforms. But it’s

Michael Waitze 19:37
got to be better than what’s already out there. Right. In other words, there are tons of things out there. If I look at the products with you have there tons of other products that are competing with stick, it must have something different, right?

Vinayak Shrivastav 19:49
Absolutely. The idea there was to kind of you know, replace OBS over a period of time. So what we realized is OBS has been a Legacy product right? Everything that we have built the idea here has been to and see if some of the legacy products could be challenged, or some of the legacy products could not do it. And we’ll be able to do it better, right? And the reason is not because they can’t do it. The reason is because the minute you become a big organization, things move your way, right? Because right, you it takes time to kind of get things around. And that’s exactly what we realized that, you know, the companies will have the capabilities to do it, but it will not be on top of the agenda, because the current machine that actually makes the money is good enough, and no one wants to replace an existing machine in place. So that’s exactly what happened with us, we realized that we want to kind of do something, we know we won’t be able to do it better, but we will be able to do it faster. So the idea here was to do it faster over a period of time just make a niche market within itself. But when it comes to steak, the idea here is to kind of bring in cross collaboration that none of the platforms today provide right now say, for example, my client, and I want to kind of collaborate over the live streaming, and at the same time have control over what gradually giving it to our audiences and what we’re really kind of doing with audiences. And at the same time, our audiences want to get engaged with us what that means is the work that you and I are doing live, they want to kind of collaborate on it. We want, we wouldn’t want to publish the content live immediately. But they would want to collaborate on it, they would want to give their comments they would want to give, say feedbacks, maybe we have a team back somewhere in us, they will want to kind of sit on the back end and say that look like at this point, there’s some distortion that says the background, can we get rid of it. You don’t have to remove the content, download it, upload it and send it again anymore. You can just do it on the platform, you’ll be able to collaborate with your friends and family. You’ll be able to livestream together and you’ll be able to edit together. That’s what Stig does,

Michael Waitze 21:40
added together. I mean, I use OBS right. So this video that you’re watching right now is being driven by OBS. It’s so easy for me to do. Yeah. But yeah, there are some things that I’d like to be able to do that are different. I’m really curious. And to be fair, I think about magnify as well for myself. Like if magnify were watching this video that you and I were doing, right, because the whole thing about what happens with video production, although we won’t post this video, is that everybody wants to see three minute snippets are five minutes snippets out of an hour long conversation, right? Because that’s what really drives engagement. So are you suggesting that we could actually do this on stick, I could have magnified, be watching it in real time and creating snippets where you say something like, Hey, this is a really funny story. And then it goes, Oh, I better take this thing out. And when that story feels like it’s done, because it watches you and we react to it, and we say something like, Okay, that was cool or whatever, it’ll just stop. And then at the end of the day, I could have somebody then edit that out. Or I could do it on platform, and then just like distributed.

Vinayak Shrivastav 22:40
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Michael Waitze 22:45
Well, that sounds super cool. And then what is it listo.

Vinayak Shrivastav 22:49
So Illustra is basically an extended version of Word, stick and word magnifiers. It just meant for the consumers out there today, what it does is we drop the entire power of editing offline, to maybe an online process. That’s basically what we’re trying to do, we realized that video editing over the years has not really changed, though, we have had much more access to different apps on the mobile phones, the web editing and the desktop editing hasn’t really seen too much of a change the desktop editing today is led by your Final Cut Pros for the world, your Adobe Premiere pros. So what we really wanted to do is everyone’s not gonna be able to afford a high end system like a MacBook Pro, everyone does not have access to the kinds of license money that maybe a Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro will charge. Right? The idea here is to bring in something more sustainable. And our target audience that we’re going after is actually the eight year old to maybe a 28 year old who aspire to upload content online, right? Everyone wants to upload content online, everyone looks at 12 year old kid just making like $10 million on YouTube last year. And everyone’s like, okay, look, I can I can upload some content online, and I can make some money. But obviously, they don’t have an editing team, they don’t have time, parents are more than happy that their kids want to go online and want to explore editing, they don’t want to pay for some expensive stuff, because they know that they can to be able to use it. So they will they will not let them subscribe to maybe an Adobe Premiere Pro, but then definitely let them subscribe to something as reasonable as maybe in the last two. And that’s where the last one really comes in the idea to kind of just bring in easy editing online and affordability.

Michael Waitze 24:20
And what does it do? So use this back end compute. So use cloud computing? Absolutely what you can attack with as much compute as you possibly can. And you’re hoping or relying on the fact that people have high speed internet access, right? So that there is no throughput problem, and that they could do it on like an old MacBook Air or something because they don’t need to have compute power on their machine itself. Yeah,

Vinayak Shrivastav 24:44
absolutely. Absolutely. The idea here is just have a decent connectivity, right? We realize that the CPUs the old CPUs that are there in place, if you actually try and process on them, the load becomes too much and then the computer starts crashing. If you take the entire computer and put it up on cloud, you and actually make it better, you just have to kind of make sure that there is somehow compute built into the cloud, which can allow you to easily access the server files. That means that you’re able to compute much faster, and be able to compute much faster. We solve most of the problems, the only dependency that really kicks in here is the connectivity.

Michael Waitze 25:16
So what is the future evolve this? In other words, you’ve built all these components, right, and I get what magnifies? And what stick is and what Elasto is. Yeah, is there? Is there a media company being built here? Do you know what I mean? In other words, are you going to rely on other people? You’re laughing at me? So I feel like I’ve hit a nerve? But are you going to rely on everybody else to use these tools to you to create great video? Or do you have an idea as well to say, hey, wait a second. We love media, too. And we’ve built this incredible platform, shouldn’t we be creating our own media? Is this an idea you have as well?

Vinayak Shrivastav 25:52
No, the reason why I love this, because we haven’t been asked that question too many times. Right? And go ahead.

Michael Waitze 25:58
But it’s an obvious question, right? I mean,

Vinayak Shrivastav 26:02
it’s an obvious question. So the thought process has been that, we’d realized that to be a media company takes a lot more than just building tools, right? It’s not about just building tools. And the idea for us is we realize we’re great at building technology, we created building platforms, the company has succeeded so far, we want to become the company that actually has all the tools that the media company uses, eventually. And that’s the reason why we call ourselves videos, right? The idea here is to build a universe around the video ecosystem, the video editing ecosystem, the video transcoding system, the Video Broadcasting System. And that’s what we’re really getting to. So if you see each of the products that we have failed, it’s actually hitting a nerve in the media industry. You look at the last two it hits hits a nerve in the media industry in the editing space, you will look at magnify it heard, it hits a nerve on the enterprise sector, you look at stake, that’s a nerve in terms of the broadcasting sectors for the consumers, right? So we realize that each of these products in itself, is actually creating a huge business within the ecosystem. And the end goal is that how can you actually create a unified ecosystem where someone actually enters your ecosystem and does not have to ever leave again? So you’re basically trying to build a suite of products that’s going to be able to service everything that media companies, and you know, people who love media and produce content are going to be using it?

Michael Waitze 27:28
Do you see media, particularly using artificial intelligence, excuse me and some of the more advanced tools that can be built? Taking a position inside the metaverse to make the experience of not just watching video and creating video, but interacting with the video more immersive? And do you see a future where video verse itself builds those tools? To do that at scale, you can see behind me, you know, just by looking at me, and I can tell the difference between looking at what I have. And when you have that I’ve got a green screen. So you can see that there. It’s a little bit more. What’s the right word immersive over here? Yeah. Do you think about this when you’re building these tools and think as remember, we already talked about the power of compute the power of computing, the cloud keeps getting stronger. The connectivity that we have keeps getting the pipes just keep getting bigger, right? I mean, my speeds up and down right now, or three to 400 megabits up and down, it will be gigabit 10 gigabit, it’s just going to be at some point, it’s just going to be on always, right. Yeah. So what does the immersive video experience look like to you?

Vinayak Shrivastav 28:39
So I would say everyone has a different school of thought there. For me, and immersive experiences where, you know, two people have a conversation without things breaking off, right? The flow of conversation has to be in a way where it does not get impacted, the quality does not get impacted, while you can play around a bunch of things in your background, and with your post production as well. So the quality of the content is not only in what I do live is also in what I’m able to do with it in post production. And that’s that’s the most important thing that I feel is the most the most the thing that if you look at where the entire world is shifting towards the metaverse, you will actually see that the next generation of tools that are going to be out there is going to be supporting you and I talking and Metaverse and that’s going to be even cooler, right? Like I think us talking to each other, and adapters can actually take a real skin of what we actually look like, that’d be even cooler. The idea here is while these things happen, you know, the main thing is always going to be the crux of our grade the quality of the output as if that does not improve over a period of time. We still haven’t solved for an immersive challenge yet. Because while internet connectivity is getting better day and day by day, everywhere in the world to get to maybe 100% connectivity across the globe is going to take us another I would say five to 10 years at least. And when we’re there, I would say the biggest biggest part is going to be just to have a seamless video calling experience. When that happens, everything else can start falling in place. And we have already developed a lot of things. It’s not only us a bunch of companies have been working on this, right?

Michael Waitze 30:15
Right. So here’s my, here’s my vision. And tell me if it’s crazy, because I can’t build these tools. But I feel like I know what it’s gonna look like, I’m sitting in a room right now, that’s about five square meters, maybe a little bit smaller, maybe a little bit bigger, I don’t know, my eyes aren’t great at measurements, I don’t want to have to have this microphone. Right, I don’t want to have to turn on the camera, I don’t want to have to focus it, I don’t have to do anything, I want to walk in this room. And I want to flip on some lights or just have the lighting be perfect. So that when I come in here and talk to you, it feels like you and I are either in the same place or in a place where we can feel like we’re together. That’s how immersive I want it to be. And if you wouldn’t want to go somewhere where neither one of us are, like to Paris or back to London to walk around the campus where you went to school, we can do that immediately. That I think is going to be super cool. And if we can then record that, and use the tools like magnified to be able to say, Hey, pick out the best parts of this conversation in real time, and then cut it up and send it out. That’s my vision, I think of what an immersive future looks like in just the beginning. To be fair, that makes sense.

Vinayak Shrivastav 31:23
That makes a lot of sense. That’d be a pretty cool thing to happen.

Michael Waitze 31:28
I think that’s what I think about. Can we just talk a little bit because I have got to, I’m really interested in this too. Right? You announced in November, this idea that you were going to set aside some money to fund some companies in the video and audio space. Is the idea there that you just want to make sure that there are enough funding companies out there to use the tools that you’re building. In other words to build the on your own, like you said, it’s in the name video verse, right to build this universe around the tools that you have. And is there a status on that? Can you talk about that at all?

Vinayak Shrivastav 32:02
Yeah, so the fund is up and life we’ve already made, I would say two investments out of the fund. One of the investments that we made was into a satellite imagery company that uses video to kind of detect, you know, your crop analysts, and it gives those data to banks, so that they can do the underwriting and they can do all the insurance programs built on top of it. That’s cool. The second company that we’ve invested, kind of uses technology to video that we’re talking and the user use the webcam to actually talk about the attention span that we have on the screen or talk about what our movements are on the screen. So give you an analysis of how things function when we actually having a video call right like, am I attentive? Am I doing multiple things how my ratio is so multiple, kind of you know, building those deep tech kind of unlearning the idea of launching the fund was very simple, we realized that over a period of time, we will not be able to build everything. And we do not want to build everything. But having skin in the game for what others are building is going to be a pretty cool thing. From two perspective, eventually, they can be a great roll up for us, if we are able to kind of become bigger than what we are today and get to a stage, we can roll up these companies, if they get to a certain stage a second, let these companies be enabled from the experiences that we have taken over the years, teach it to them so that they will make the same mistakes, and are able to accelerate and become big companies and such both ways we benefit. If you don’t acquire and the company becomes big, we make a lot of money, right. And if we acquire them, we have great technology that we have acquired. So both ways we have a thought process way to why we want to do this, though we have just made two investments so far. But the idea is to kind of make at least on the four to five by the end of this year. And the idea is to kind of keep doing that for the next two years to keep making these investments in the video and the audio sector.

Michael Waitze 33:51
Got it. Okay, I’m gonna let you go. This was awesome. Unless there’s something else you want to mention. Vinayak shirt tree Rostov, a co founder and the CEO of video verse. Thank you so much for doing this today.

Vinayak Shrivastav 34:02
Thank you Michael. Thank you so much.


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