What does Zype do?
Zype is the infrastructure for digital video. We sell a video API that helps enterprises publish, distribute, monetize and build amazing video experiences. Read more about the company and its culture below:
How does Zype help enterprises to drive revenue and engagement?
We provide a full stack of software tools. Everything from video encoding, content management, CRM, delivery, and connectors to all enterprises’ existing video assets and where they want to publish. We take a very complex video ecosystem and we make it as easy as an API call or a dashboard on a website. This allows our clients to focus on what makes them special – their content and their innovation. So we are giving them an out-of-the-box solution so they don’t have to figure out all of the video bits – we take care of that for them.
Who is your target market and how much experience do they require?
As a B2B company, we are focused on the professional market that is looking to put video content into their audience’s hands. We would not be fit for someone doing Fortnight streaming out of their home for example – there are tools like Twitch for that.
The size range is anything from small to medium-sized enterprise, so companies that are as small as a million – 10 million dollars in revenue with 50 people up to fortune 50 multinational corporations. All companies are leveraging video more and more for everything from marketing to creating subscription video channels, social video channels, etc
Our customers typically own the content already.- they have already produced or purchased content, licensed it, and are looking to distribute it to their audience
How long has the company been around for and how has it evolved?
We have been around since 2014. My co-founder and I started the company late that year. In 2015 we built our first API and found a couple of intrepid customers who were willing to take the journey with us early on.
One of the things that we did early is that we joined an event called South by Southwest. This is a digital start-up accelerator event that takes place every year in Austin Texas. This helped us to hone our message and pitch. They had a competition similar to shark tank where we got to pitch Zype in 3 minutes to industry leaders – we won the competition for entertainment and media technology. Winning the competition gave us confidence and a springboard for us to go out and raise money and grow our team. That was in 2015 and we haven’t slept since!
We will end this year with close to 90 employees. We started in New York with three people and now we have people in the US, Mexico, Argentina, Europe, India, and Latin America. We have a global team and it has been so exciting to see the company grow. Growing a software and a web company is always interesting and we have been able to function remotely while still having our heart set in New York City.
What impact has covid-19 had on Zype?
Before Covid, we were functioning as a hybrid company. We had teams in different locations from very early on so within two years of us starting the company we were hybrid. We had a couple of people in a different state/ different country.
At the time that the pandemic hit we had 70% of our team working from New York- we were forced like many companies to continue our operations from home. Being hybrid means that we already had the tools in place to transition smoothly to being a fully remote company. We are now fully remote and intend to stay that way. The majority of our team is no longer based in New York and we have people based all over the world – we call them Zypsters.
Having Zypsters all over the world has transformed the company in a very positive way. We are a more diverse and multilingual workforce. We have a lot of native Spanish speakers in the company which is great for our growth in Latin America – It has been a real journey.
From a business perspective, the pandemic has been interesting because it has driven more people to engage with streaming video so we have had a boom in our customer base with many customers experiencing record usage. Streaming has become part of everyday behavior. People are on their phones, laptops, and smart TV devices and we power video for those three areas so we have seen a lot of growth. Covid has accelerated the streaming of videos and it has not become a must-have for businesses. It has been a bittersweet thing – none of us want to live this way, we want this thing to be solved but I am happy that we were here for our customers during this tough time. Particularly in the fitness industry. Video streaming became an integral part of keeping their customers fit and engaged.
Are your customers globally based?
I would say that 75% of our customers are US-based. However, our streaming footprint is truly global. We have data centers and cloud-based software so customers can access our software through the web, but you need to have a presence. For example, if you are streaming from South Africa you don’t want to pick up a video stream from New Jersey. You want to have the content as close to you as possible. We have customers with audiences in Europe, Africa, Australia, and Brazil. Our software and our streaming infrastructure are connected to 75 million households at this point in the US and probably a similar amount across the rest of the world.
As a company your core values are: courage, awesomeness, thoughtfulness, hard work, and resourcefulness – how do these values play out practically?
First of all, we are extremely focused on our customers and our customer success, and our values allow our team to have guidance every day in their decisions. Our support team has been recognized year after year through international business awards for being an amazing and awesome team that will go to the end of the earth for our customers.
We have the courage to help our customers through their most serious and mission-critical streaming needs. We are available for them 24/7. We make sure that we give them thoughtful advice and be as upfront as possible about what is possible and what is not possible with our software and the general video ecosystem. As a CEO I am always humbled to see our team live these values and use them as guidance every day.
We have a non-bureaucratic model of management which allows our team to make their own decisions without having to ask for permission- to do that you need to have a very values-driven culture that helps to guide the decisions being made on the ground.
How have you kept the value-driven culture through remote working?
We have leveraged off the value of resourcefulness. As a team, we understand that it is tough to work from home and we have learned to be ok on a Zoom call when someone’s spouse/ pet/ roommate is in the background or interrupts the meeting. We have empathy for the situation and are not too precious with our video conferences – we are all patient with one another as we figure out how to be productive in this new way of working.
The other side of it is related to our value – hard work. We try to hire people who like to dive into tasks and will go to the end of the earth for our customers. However, we also realize the importance of turning it off at the end of the day. So part of being awesome is that we encourage our team to take vacations and we have summer Fridays where we end our day early on a Friday. We also try to do things that encourage a great work-life balance because that drives productivity and happiness in a workforce.
What else can you tell us about Zype?
We are launching a new video playout service in the coming weeks. It has been out for a while in a BETA. It is called Zype Playout 2.0 (the second version of our service we have in the market). It allows businesses to build streaming video channels on the fly in a non-linear editing format. So drag and drop your video into a timeline that looks like Quicktime and stream that out to YouTube/ Twitch/ Apple TV app/ Samsung smart TV channel – you can do it all from your browser in the cloud.
How is Zype playout 2.0 different from the original version?
The original version was playlist-driven. So you could create playout lists. You could say that you have my 10 videos and you want to play them out in a row like a live stream but you could not drag and drop, drop ads in dynamically, put motion graphics in them, or cut to live stream. So now this is a fully immersive environment for authoring lineage digital channels. It is much more user-friendly and a lot more flexible.