It’s a sad news that I’m going to announce today; but nevertheless, I’m doing it with confidence and a smile on my face. Let me tell you why.
Strime, it’s over.
We’re ending this project 3 years (almost exactly) after its creation which occurred during the summer 2015. The 3 years that we spend working on this project, were extremely dense emotionally speaking, from the development of the project perspective, or with regards to what we learned. We started, back in april 2015, by winning a grant provided by the cluster called Numelink (which became Digital League) and the french department of Loire; then we created the company, we launched the first version of Strime in january 2016, we left the beta phase and launched a plan at 15€/month in june 2016, which we dropped in january 2017, right before integrating Start-Up Chile a month later.
The 6 months we spent in this acceleration program were particularly intense, and allowed us to develop many features, to change Strime into a multilingual platform, and to recruit many new users. Unfortunately, they didn’t allow us to reach profitability. Indeed, we eventually decided to build an offer for big companies which produce a huge amount of videos per yer. The feedback we got on the field was pretty good, albeit the potential clients were waiting a bit to be able to evaluate this new offer before engaging themselves.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to finish the development of this offer. Many reasons could be used to explain this, but the most important one is probably the difficulty we faced, my partners and I, to dedicate ourselves to this project. Build a good product is one thing, make it known is another one. I was the sole member of the team who had the ability to work full-time on Strime, partly because of Start-Up Chile’s support, partly because I made the choice to give the most that I could to this project, taking a financial risk by dropping any other professional activity. In order to take the most out of my south-american presence, I spent time promoting the service, meeting users, and trying to pre-sale this key accounts offer in this area. The rest of my time was dedicated to the technical development of Strime. But even though I was 100% dedicated to Strime, we were lacking time to set up the technical improvements that we wanted. In the meantime, in France, Franck and Jean-Philippe had to keep their freelance activity to make their living.
In october 2017, I had to make a decision. I have been spending all my time to Strime since a year, I stopped my independant webdeveloper activity, and my savings were almost gone. Strime didn’t allow me to get a salary because we were not generating any incomes. Therefore, I needed, like my fellow partners, to find a way, apart from Strime, to generate revenues. I thus accepted a webdeveloper position in mid-december 2017. Since then, I almost had no time to dedicate to Strime, and you know what happened after this moment. The service almost didn’t evolve; we didn’t push any new functionality.
We progressively lost traffic on the website; to give you the big picture, we had ~700 visits / day (in average) until then, and then we dropped to ~40 visits / day at the end of the year 2017.
We almost stopped generating new signups. Everything is not related to the fact that I was not working full-time on Strime anymore, the fact the we also stopped investing in advertising on Google and Facebook also had a strong impact, but still, it was a clear turn that we were operating in Strime’s life.
Once this decision was taken, we looked for someone to take over this project, in order for it to not disappear completely. We had interesting contacts, with different types of people: our competitors, communication agencies and even film producers. Unfortunately, discussions never landed. We also looked for investors, and if we had the chance to pitch in front of VCs, the lack of profitability proofs was a clear weakness.
Therefore, we were disappointed, but serene, when we took the decision to stop Strime, because we couldn’t keep financing a service which was not generating any revenue.
Strime in figures
To date, Strime has:
- 3.207 users, who shared content with 4.366 contacts
- 7.958 videos uploaded in 3.660 projects and which collected 21.667 comments for an average weight of 50,41 Mb per video (some of you even tried to break our 2Gb upload limit! 😉 )
- 34 images and 5 audio files upload: Hell yeah! We wanted to give you the ability to pay for additional features. The features were ready, not the payment gateway integration…
- 24,10% of the users were using the french version, 18,55% the english one, and 57,34% the spanish one: we eventually developed a nice implantation in South-America.
What will remain from this experience?
Strime was above all very instructive on the human and professional side. First of all, because we took a lot of pleasure to work together, the 3 of us, and even though the journey is over, it didn’t change anything to our relationship, it’s even the opposite! And this is the most important for us.
We also had a lot of pleasure to receive such a support and interest from our users. Realizing that we created something that was really useful for other people was something extremely gratifying and it helped to keep moving forward, even in difficult moments (and I can assure you that, when you are 12.000km away from your partners, sometimes it generates doubt).
Finally, there’s also an economical lesson to remind. Launching a webservice based on a freemium model became so common that it’s an extremely risky business model. Why? Because people can’t affort to spend thousands of dollars every months in tons of webservices; they have to make drastic choices; it’s therefore very hard to reach a critical mass of paying users, and this is particularly true when you consider the fact that you will need a lot of them to make your business profitable.
If we had to start over, I think that we would directly target key accounts with more financial means, and we would make sure to have our first clients before developing anything. The counterpart of this, is that it would not give us the opportunity to work with independent producers, though we trully enjoyed it, or at least not at the beginning.
But, after all, are you happy?
That’s what I said in the introduction, I’m smiling while writing this article. Why? Because I think again at all the good moments the 3 of us spent, at the pleasure we had the day we reached 100 used, then the one we reached 1000 users, and at the pride we had when we ranked 2nd in this pitch contest in Santiago, or at the adorable messages we received from our users.
We don’t regret anything. Failure is part of the entrepreneurial journey, and that’s also how we learn and move forward.
What will happen during the next few weeks?
It’s pretty simple. You can still use Strime for free for now. It’s very likely that some things will stop working. We will not try to fix them.
On september the 10th, we will shut down the service. From there, you will not be able to use Strime anymore. Make sure you’re done collaborating on Strime with your clients by then.
If you want to use another service of this king, you can try one of the following ones:
Obviously, we stay at your disposal to answer any of your question.
Thanks to all of you for following us in this project. We wish you plenty of good things for your professional activities, and who knows, perhaps will our paths cross each other again in the future.
Franck, Jean-Philippe & Romain