Our colleague, Szaló Réka managed to interview Thomas Willomitzer, Founder and CEO at Snapscreen.com, Co-founder of Last.fm.
Thomas Willomitzer has served as CTO at Jumio for the last 4 years. He lived and worked next to his hometown Vienna, in London, Zurich, Munich and Silicon Valley. He developed software for algorithmic trading in investment banks such as UBS, UniCredit, Credit Suisse and others.
When working in startups Thomas always played a key role in business development and product development and gained extensive experience in those areas.
His contacts from the past 20 years of startup activity help Snapscreen almost daily.
What is Snapscreen?
Snapscreen offers the future of Betting with 1 second to live bets.
Take a Snap and in a flash the Snapscreen magic recognizes the game and takes you to the latest odds. Activate your users in the moment by delivering the latest betting odds for the game they are watching, in 1 second.
One tap on the smartphone or tablet and the bet is set. Increase the momentum by offering a simple and fast way for your customers to spontaneously complete a bet.
If you would like to hear more insights about the product and how it will revolutionize the way we bet, make sure your register and attend CEEGC Budapest, held between between 19-20 September, 2017 in Budapest. More details on the official website: www.ceegc.eu
Thank you for being available and accepting this interview. First of all will you please introduce yourself and the company you represent?
Willomitzer: I am Thomas Willomitzer, and I am the CEO of Snapscreen. Previously I was the CTO of Jumio and the co-founder of Last.FM.
Snapscreen turns the camera of a smartphone into a marketing activation tool. For the sports affiliate-, odds comparison- and betting apps and websites, it is possible to take people to a betting opportunity in an instant.
Snapscreen is more and more popular and it has a lot of potential in the industry. What is the idea behind Snapscreen and how did it become so popular?
Willomitzer: The idea is to turn the passive medium that is TV into a full engagement tool that can be measured and optimized just like a social media campaign. The popularity is down in part to the tech itself and the blood sweat and tears of the sales and marketing team. These guys push Snapscreen at every event, in every platform and are doing such great work. So proud to have everyone pushing forward to make Snapscreen a household name.
What can you tell us about the technology of Snapscreen and how can the company overcome the challenges of renewing technology nowadays?
Willomitzer: I came up with the idea for the technology during my times as Jumio CTO. Many founders get the idea for new ventures while working in a venture actually. The technology is pretty tough to get right – not only the purely technical aspects like computer vision and artificial intelligence that is used inside Snapscreen but also the data management, real time matching and auto scaling will test any tech team!
As with the renewal/refreshing of technology – this is probably what pulls in startups in the first place – the new and fresh idea. The challenge is to keep this spirit alive and stay cannibalistic to your own revenue streams even if they don’t immediately suggest a need for change. Best to catch the change before it’s immediate!
What are the future plans of the company especially those concerning the World Cup in 2018?
Willomitzer: Chatbots and making almost all sport TV events and continuable and accessible in social media and sports related apps for affiliate, odds comparison and betting!
What are the new technology tools you have introduced recently or you want to launch for the World Cup? Can you reveal some innovation you will make just for this great event?
Willomitzer: The chatbots were made for the world cup. We hope to introduce them into a lot of odds comparison bots and websites. We launch them well ahead of the world cup as I personally don’t like “big bang” launches were pressure and tension is high.
What do you consider the most successful experience in the history of Snapscreen?
Willomitzer: Though there already have been many, and the future is bound to hold many more, it is really the very first time a live TV show was recognized. Months of programming, testing, etc and it all comes down to one moment. It was our Moon landing. Everybody was pretty excited … now we are continuously improving precision and user experience …
I would be very interested –and I think our readers as well- to know more about the people who are behind the curtains, who created and have maintained this innovative, very successful and revolutionary service. Will you please tell us more about them?
Willomitzer: We have a very international team that, the development team have been working in the TV image recognition tech space for a number of years. The sales, marketing and business development is made up of 2 Americans and an Italian/Austrian guy, all with multiple years in their field. Feel free to checkout our Team page on the website at https://www.snapscreen.com/about-snapscreen. As usual there are many more that remain unnamed …
You must have received a lot of feedback, comments and opinions. Do these help in your work and which one do you consider the most important and why?
Willomitzer: The biggest issue for a startup is product market fit, without feedback it is very difficult to achieve. There is, however, a point that you need to take a leap of faith and really push to test a market/niche. The most important feedback that we can get is from an internal champion either in an industry or inside the company of a potential customer as they have knowledge of needs that we might not have.
What is your personal opinion about gambling industry in general in Europe?
Willomitzer: It is a very active landscape that is really looking for innovative startups to help them open up the market to the millennials. Remember what I mentioned above about being cannibalistic – I hope the industry will act before the alarms bells are ringing and lights are flashing red!
Who is your favorite actor or actress?
Willomitzer: Haha there are so many incredibly talented people … has to be Harrison Ford in Star Wars in the freezing scene “I love you” – “I know”
Where would you travel the most in Central Europe?
Willomitzer: Italy and France these days
Which are those places in Central Europe that you are not interested in and you would not like to visit them?
Willomitzer: Every place is worth seeing – such a place doesn’t exist for me😉