Flipping through a photo album is frequently a favourite activity to do at a family gathering. It brings back warm and fuzzy memories that you hadn’t thought about in years, leads to the retelling of hilarious stories and the exposure of that embarrassing photo your Mother kept, but you wish she hadn’t. There are very few activities that raise our levels of dopamine and nostalgia to such heights like reminiscing over a photo album.
Yet, photo albums still live on the shelf. They are heavy, untransportable, gather dust and take hours of work to create. To date, there has been no replication of the photo album experience in the digital world. This is despite the fact that, today more than ever, it’s easier to capture extrodinarily high quality photos with our mobile phones. In fact, the average iphone user takes 2500 photos a year (not including screen shots and images received over whatsapp), way too many to keep organized or manage.
The reason I believe this to be the case is that consumers are encouraged to take and store as many photos as possible. In fact, Google and Apple photos business models are driven by the amount you store. In reality, creating a misalignment of interest between users and those companies. This is why, when you open up your photo app, you are met with clutter, screen shots, and multiple pictures of the same scene rather than pictures you would actually enjoy seeing! I would posit that 90% of the photos that exist within your photo apps would not qualify for a photo album.
Instead of eliciting positive feelings, our photo albums evoke anxiety and displeasure. The sheer task of cleaning them up and turning them into an album-like experience is too large and exhausting to even contemplate.
Which is why I’m excited to introduce our new portfolio company, GoodOnes, founded by Israel (Iz) Shalom and Aparna Pande. TLV Partners is fortunate to be leading a $3.5M seed round alongside Liquid2 Ventures, as well as Rich Miner (co-founder of Android), and Peter Welinder (founder of Carousel acquired by Dropbox).
GoodOnes solves photo anxiety by using AI to enhance our ability to curate our photos. It automatically filters out the photos it knows you don’t want, analyses which of the similar photos is the best one and categorizes them appropriately. It significantly reduces the burden of having to sort through your photos with most of the work done for you.
The market size here is potentially endless. There are few companies that we meet that we can say are developing a product for almost everyone. GoodOnes in one of them.
When assessing an investment, VCs always seek out signs of product market fit, and there were many in our assessment of GoodOnes. One thing that often falls under the radar is Founder Market Fit. FMF is a measurement of the amount of deep expertise and experience and most importantly passion the founders have for the given market they are operating in. Iz was a Product Lead for Dropbox’s consumer suite and previously a Product Manager at Google Photos where he leant the photo app market inside out. Aparna ran and successfully sold her previous e-commerce start-up and before that spent a number of years in Disney’s consumer division. There couldn’t be a better combination of consumer talent to tackle this challenging problem.
The future of photos with GoodOnes is an anxiety free digital album. Easy to manage, no clutter and easily shareable! Photos are memories and everyone wants to be able to bring to life these sentimental moments once again.