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Hey guys! Startup Radius interviewed Klloom – young startup company with a big heart! Klloom is a stock photo platform that directly connects brands, businesses and marketers with photography authors. Sounds pretty ordinary, right? Well, what if we tell you Klloom donates 20% of all transactions to charity. How awesome is that?

Read the story to find out how Klloom entered such a competitive market, how they mix business with community approaches, why it’s important to stay open and admit your weaknesses and faults, how to grow with no marketing budget and more!

Can you tell us about what you are working on? What is Klloom?

Klloom is a bootstrap startup that wants to put the stock photo market on people’s hands. We are an open, user-generated, collaborative image bank that has a social purpose as an intrinsic part of its backbone. Twelve percent of our gross earnings go to donation.

It’s a powerful platform where brands, content producers, media companies and publishers are able to buy images directly from amateur and professional photographers, celebrities, real people and collectives, while helping humanitarian causes. We are looking at image banks from a new perspective.

Why are you building this? Was there a particular source of inspiration or money-making idea?

Let’s be honest. Rethinking the world’s economy model is even more urgent than rethinking the stock photo market. We do believe in a world where corporations can monetize their business while making a difference for the future of our planet, far beyond all bullshit.

Brands are increasingly seeking for real-life shots from their own customers. Everyone has at least one great photo archived somewhere in a hard drive; there are billions of great iPhone shots that are just kept in monthly backups, and they would probably never be turned into money at all, neither in delight for photo lovers eyes.

So, what about turning “nothing” into a 20-dollar photo that will earn you 40% of the fee for each license sold and, still more, generating a compulsory contribution of 20% directly to a humanitarian cause! Doesn’t it sound great enough?

Klloom stock photo tool interface

Time for bragging! How big you are – traffic, users, anything else?

We are just a baby startup with the world in our dreams. 🙂 The platform is ready to go, and now we started to grow our bank by inviting iphoneographers and photographers to upload their shots. That’s our current challenge. There are Klloom’s ambassadors in Europe, Oceania, Asia, Russia and in Florida/Caribbean. By the way, have you got any nice picture to share? 🙂

Who are your main competitors, and how good/bad they are?

If we face huge players such as Shutterstock and GettyImages, it’s like a David Versus Goliath battle. But there is a big gap between those players and the free stock photo banks (like Pexels). None of them has an intrinsic social cause in their business.

We want to create a new kind of image licensing platform, socially responsible, totally open, curated by its own community (Klloom doesn’t pre select photos) and with reasonable prices chosen by the users.


Klloom - stock photography platform

Who uses Klloom? What is your perfect buyer persona?

Sellers

Photographers, iPhoneographers, celebrities, selfie addicts, colectives, anyone who has a great shot archived in a hard drive.

Buyers

Brands, agencies, media companies, blogs, magazines, publishers, content producers, designers, art directors and anyone who needs an image to communicate something.

What were some of the biggest challenges while building Klloom early on and how did you solve them?

The biggest challenge has been to make image licensing accessible to a wider public, have a social goal and be profitable at the same time. We need to prove it’s really possible. We know it is.

How to sell photographs

If you could give a marketing advice to other companies, what could it be based on your experience?

Be frank and honest while communicating. It’s time to companies to have a totally open dialogue with their customers. All the story-telling stuff must be just an outcome of effective actions and internal culture.

Klloom was born as a glass box company, which means we don’t intend to be perfect. Admitting our weaknesses and faults make us stronger, as we evolve together with a community of users who participate actively as real curators of our service. We are in Beta, and so we will always be.

Which marketing channels you prefer and why?

As a bootstrap startup, we do invested and relied on PR to open some doors at this very beginning. That was a good way to draw attention and feedbacks from potential investors and mentors before starting working harder on social media.

Klloom - platform for selling and buying photographs

Is Klloom monetized? Why did you choose the current monetization method?

Yes. Upon uploading their photos, users have a list of photo prices to choose from. 40% goes to the author, 20% to donation, 20% to Klloom and 20% to taxes and fees.

What are the top 5-10 products/services you use in your company and why do you like them?

  • Google Analytics to keep track of visitors and campaigns’ results;
  • MailChimp for email marketing;
  • Twitter to engage with potential users, buyers and investors;
  • PayPal as our payment platform;
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) as our hosting provider.
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