Posted: February 01, 2011
Tech startup: Pixorial Inc.By Eric Peterson
Company: PIXORIAL Inc.
INITIAL LIGHT BULB: Andrés Espiñeira retired from a tech career in Silicon Valley and moved to Colorado, then sailed across the Atlantic with his father the next year.
"The genesis of the idea (for Pixorial) came over that summer from digitizing Super 8 and 8-millimeter film for my father," Pixorial CEO Espiñeira says. "Transferring is often a problem for people. I wanted to take this video and put it in the cloud online and give them tools to edit it." A few years passed before Espiñeira came out of retirement to launch Pixorial with Vice President of Operations Gina Miccio.
IN A NUTSHELL: "We make old and new video portable and give you the tools to put it anywhere," Espiñeira says.
Users can either upload video files at Pixorial.com or request a shipping kit to mail old reels and tapes in most every major legacy format for Pixorial staff to digitize into their libraries, which are stored on enterprise-class Hitachi hardware at the highest resolution possible. After digitizing content, users can log in and edit it using Pixorial's online tools. "It's aimed at people who have no video editing experience at all," Espiñeira says. "It has about 70 to 80 percent of the functionality of a heavy-duty video editor."
After editing, users can easily port the finished product to YouTube, Facebook, or other online outlets, or order a DVD. "It is one of the only sites where you can create a video, edit a video, store a video, share a video, or create a DVD," says Melissa Hourigan, vice president of marketing. "We don't limit how or with whom you can share. We don't want to change those social interactions." Pixorial also has a pair of Facebook apps to allow users to share video on the omnipresent social network.
Espiñeira says apps for the iPhone and Android are also in the works. Now 14 employees strong, Pixorial has a tiered business model: Free accounts are limited to 20 minutes of video, while two levels of paid accounts allow for an hour or unlimited storage. Espiñeira says the Facebook apps have about 40,000 active users while the site has attracted considerably more. "About 2 percent are paying users," he adds. "We've had very little attrition." Ashley Kingsley, chief executive mom of Daily Deals for Moms in Denver, describes the site as easy and intuitive. "I think they are way ahead of the game, and they have been really fun to watch," Kingsley says.
THE MARKET: Pixorial is targeting families, athletic organizations, educators, nonprofits, bloggers and small businesses of all kinds. "We're going very broad," Espiñeira says.
FINANCING: Pixorial has been privately funded to date, but as of November 2010 the company has been pursuing a Series A round of venture financing. "We're at the point now where the pieces of the puzzle are in place," Espiñeira says. "We're ready to start cranking up the marketing."
where: Englewood | FOUNDED: 2007 | www.pixorial.com
Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com