The case of Georgian startup Crosscreators: how to grow in 5 months

18 July, 2022

 

Tbilisi-based startup Crosscreators is developing a product that connects augmented reality creators and their clients. The platform was founded five months ago by Ani Manyavidze from Georgia and Dmitry Farafontov from Ukraine. The project already unites about 2,000 content creators and 500 paying customers.

Augmented Reality (AR) technology allows virtual content to be superimposed on the real world. The use of this technology has become widespread in the online retail sector relatively recently. But it has already shown its effectiveness in increasing sales conversions for major brands on online retailer platforms.

The AR content the platform provides are masks and filters used on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Tiktok. In addition to these, the user can order a 3D model of an object – such as clothes or shoes – to visualize it more realistically. The brand can apply this technology both on its website and in its mobile app. 

The client's pain: It is difficult to create AR content and very expensive to buy

The idea behind the Crosscreators project is to help brands and marketing agencies find an AR-content creator or use a template that already exists. The idea of the project came to CEO Anya Manyavidze when she was working as a marketing director in another company. She lost about 4 months to create the simplest social media filter. And then she decided that the augmented reality market needed to become more accessible so that every marketer could use augmented reality products in their strategy.

According to the founder, AR content is expensive and time-consuming – some examples of such content cost up to $100,000, and it's hard for small and medium-sized businesses to find the right person. The startup, on the other hand, makes the process of creating AR content 60% cheaper, three times faster and covers all areas of augmented reality. 

"So far we've had two versions of the product," says Ani, "We started as a prototype and launched the MVP two months ago. But it's more than an MVP, so we're calling it Alpha MVP. It took us two months to redesign our previous platform, and after that we have an almost perfect tool for augmented reality creators and their clients".

Where customers are coming from

B2B startup Crosscreators is at the scale stage and operates on a commission-based business model. Its clients are marketing companies. Since the startup's founder has extensive experience in marketing and an extensive network of contacts in the field, clients from Central Eurasia appear organically on the platform. Content marketing – newsletters and blog posts - also helps in attracting users.  

Don't get hung up on regional opportunities 

"We raised $300,000 through government grants, venture capital and an accelerator," says the founder, "There are no more venture capital funds or angels in Georgia to help us, so we approached the US for investment. We are now both a US and Georgian company, and we are part of the Wise Guys XR accelerator programme: after five rounds we were one of the ten selected startups out of 600".

The startup team is half Georgian and half Ukrainian and consists of 15 people. Crosscreators is now looking for a specialist to handle investment promotion. 

"We are improving our product and want to scale internationally: to enter the European and US markets. And since we want to get bigger, we need to attract more investment," explains the founder.


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