Late last month, South Korean startup IndieCF launched its first iOS application Hooreel which promises to let anyone and everyone with a smartphone “create their own viral marketing videos”.
The free app is specifically targetted at business owners who might not have the equipment, resources or expertise to create a 15-second marketing video. Instead, by using their smartphones, they can capture video footage and edit it with stickers, filters, overlays and licensed background music. There is also a video feed that lets users view, like and comment on fellow videographers’ creations.
To find out more about Hooreel and where it’s headed in the next six months, we spoke to Mark Brazeal, International Business Developer, IndieCF.
Can you tell me more about IndieCF and Hooreel?
We began as a non-profit ad agency helping other non-profits launch great ad campaigns practically for free.
After a while, we realised that with the way we were operating, we could only help a small number of businesses and began to search for an easier way to help even more people gain access to advertising.
Hooreel is our IT solution to the world enabling anyone with a smartphone to create their own great marketing videos.
Who was the one who came up with the idea, and how?
Our Founder and CEO Junghwa (Kona) Park worked at an ad agency as a Commercial Message Planner for about a decade, in charge of developing TV commercials/storyboarding for over 300 ad campaigns with the biggest names in Korean business (Samsung, LG, Hyundai — you name it).
Through her experience, she was able to see first-hand how only large, well-financed companies were able to earn money by advertising and small companies weren’t given an equal playing field to advertise their products and services.
On August 14, 2014 (commemorating Korean Independence Day), Kona launched IndieCF as a social venture that would seek to solve this disparity in commercial equality (pun intended) by offering an IT solution enabling both large and small businesses to increase their success through advertising.
How big is the company now?
There are currently five of us: our Founder and CEO Park, our developer Mingu Jin (previously worked for Samsung Electronics), our wonderful designer and Co-founder Suhyun Kim, our talented videographer/director Kirin Sinn, and myself.
Has the company received external funding, and if so, how much and from whom?
We drew our initial funding from family and friends, then won several startup-related competitions, including Hyundai’s ‘H-On_Dream’ incubator programme and the joint Korea government and KT-sponsored ‘Startup Nomad’ global accelerator programme.
We are in the middle of negotiating our next round of investment with a Korean angel investor and will happily share the details with e27 when it’s all said and done!
What are a few challenges faced by the company?
We haven’t come across any challenges that were too difficult so far. We spend a lot of time deciding on what to eat and whether to make team shirts or phone cases.
How does Hooreel differentiate itself from competitors?
Unlike other ad video services on the market, we aren’t offering template-based video creation. The reason we’ve diverged in this way is because we are seeing people quickly getting tired of the same cookie-cutter ads that are created using template-based services.
Hooreel contains useful directing tips as suggestions, not templates, providing users with the freedom to develop their ideas into their own creative video concepts. We wanted to leave video creation entirely in the hands of our users while providing them with everything they need to create high-quality video ads themselves.
What are your plans for the next six months?
Over the next six months, we are planning to develop and release a version of our app that includes a marketplace function for users to commission video ads from directors they like within our app.