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“Video describes a product much better than hundreds of pictures or text”: Interview with Konstantin Zagaynov, co-founder of Videoly.co

Over the weekend, we had the chance to do an interview with Konstantin Zagaynov, co-founder of Videoly.co.

The Helsinki- and Berlin-based startup Videoly is an e-commerce tool that helps to increase sales by plugging in video reviews to online stores. Its intelligent video search technology picks relevant product video reviews from user-generated videos. Users watch video reviews right on the product description page without walking away to other sites.

Konstantin Zagaynov also represented Videoly at the pitch competition of our recent EU-Startups Conference in Munich. A few weeks ago, Videoly.co also secured €120K from the Finnish investors Reaktor Polte and Tekes. But enough with the introduction, enjoy the interview!

How did your co-founders get the idea for Videoly.co and what made you sure it was the right one?

Legend has it that the idea was born when Sergey was shopping in the grocery supermarket in October 2013. He was thinking, “why can’t I point my smartphone or Google Glass to this product and see what other people, who had tried this product, say about it”. Discussing this problem Sergey and Natalia came to an idea of a bridge between customers and stores. Somehow they should be connected and help each other within the  shopping process. What value could we bring to shops? The answer is increasing conversion, increasing sales. The demo product, ‘Videoly’ add-on for Chrome browser, which automatically adds videos when a user browses Amazon or eBay, was created quickly and it became valuable for our users.

Videoly is a great name for an e-commerce tool in the video space. How did you come up with the name and what other options did you consider?

Choosing name was not easy. We wanted a functional, descriptive, yet modern and fancy name, with, ideally, an available corresponding domain name. First, our friend Lena Felixberger from descape.de, who has strong background in copywriting, and our mentor Christoph Räthke, organised a structured name-choosing workshop for us. As a result, more than twenty functional name ideas were born. Then, Videoly.co team had one Skype call that took 3 hours. After one hour, I said to my co-founders: “guys, I will drop out of the call. Decide between yourself about three best options and then let me pick one out of those”. When they called me back at 11pm, I immediately chose “Videoly” out of those three. The combination with “.co” makes it sound
even better.

What makes Videoly unique or better than other e-commerce video review tools out there?

Video describes a product much better than hundreds of pictures or text. When one sees other people saying good things about the product in front of the camera, trust to this product is higher than only reading a text description. One amazing example is a video where a blogger stands for ten seconds under a waterfall in order to showcase that the jacket he reviews is indeed waterproof. This video was shown to me by a friend who had bought this jacket after watching this video.

For video selection, we bet on authenticity; our tests have shown that shoppers value video reviews from independent bloggers and consumers a lot. And the magic that Videoly brings is that we match thousands of these reviews to the thousands of products in online shops.

All this creates a brilliant effect on our customers’ sales; with Videoly, our customer HiFiSound.de saw a 50% increase in sales during two months of using Videoly. The average order value increased, as shoppers felt it was easier to buy more expensive products after watching videos. Additionally, users spent in average 30% more time on site and product return rates decreased.

How did you manage to get funded while working in three different countries?

Indeed, while three members of the founding team have been known each other for years (Sergey and Natalia, for example, worked in the same team in Yandex for many years), we worked in different geographical locations when we started. It was obviously a challenge, however, we were very scrupulous in how we organised the processes of working together and how we shared information between each other. This also gave us a very nice opportunity to make international business from day one. We went to talk to shops in every location we were in, and after several customer interviews we had a footprint about how shops operate in three very different geographical and cultural locations: Scandinavia, Russia and Central Europe.

I think that was also partly the reason why we captured an interest from our Finnish investor: the e-commerce market in Germany is much bigger than in Finland. Talking to investors in both Finland and Germany, we’ve got an impression that in Finnish investors are more willing to invest into earlier stages. However, the same company probably would be valued higher in Germany than in Finland.

The team of Videoly is split between Espoo and Berlin. Are you planning to move together to one headquarters in the near future? If so, which city will it probably be and why?

We will continue to build the company in both Espoo/Helsinki and Berlin. Espoo will be the HQ and a home for the core technology team. Berlin will be a sales and customer service hub.

What are the next steps or milestones for Videoly?

Business-wise, we are working on several partnerships with big online stores. We also want to invest time and money into bringing our technological core to the next level, primarily our video search algorithm that is tailored to finding relevant product video reviews in YouTube. Soon Videoly will be able to categorise product video reviews based on genre and have powerful video quality filtering. For that, we are looking for investors to join us in the seed round early next year.

Could you recommend our readers one or two books that helped you during your entrepreneurial endeavors?

Personally for me these books are “Mom test” by Rob Fitzpatrick, “Getting real” by 37 signals and “Linchpin” by Seth Godin, and of course “Lean Startup” by Eric Ries.

By the way: If you’d like to stay up-to-date regarding startup news and interesting opportunities, make sure to subscribe to our free weekly EU-Startups Newsletter.

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Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr is the "Editor in Chief" of EU-Startups.com and started the blog in October 2010. He is excited about Europe's future, passionate about new business ideas and lives in Barcelona (Spain).


  1. “… friend users …” – That’s actually how Jeff Bezos launched Amazon. He set up a rudimentary book shop, gave friends the link to the (as yet “unlisted” in search engines) site, saw sales rise and eventually coming from IP addresses that could only have been recruited by word-of-mouth, then went all-in and the rest is history. Many start-ups fail to look for such a “sound” 😉 sounding-board and lose a lot of money that way.

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