There is a philosopher, an engineer and an economist with a passion for photos and an immoderate ambition: to build a global company that can predict the type of photos that can best convert within an e- commerce. It’s not a joke: that’s exactly what Federico Mattia Dolci, Jacopo Benedetti and Giacomo Grattirola have been working on since 2018. Or rather, since the pandemic broke out: “With the explosion of e-commerce, we realized all over the world that a photo is no longer a simple snapshot, but a data that must be managed and organized because it allows the company to obtain an increase in sales ”says the CEO (managing director) Dolci.
A year ago, Boom Imagestudio raised 6 million euros through a Series A round led by United Ventures and participated by Nerio Alessandri’s Wellness Holding (founder of Technogym), in addition to previous investors Viris and Anya Capital. Andrea Guerra, former CEO of the Luxottica Group and former president of Eataly, and Paolo Gesess, co-founder of United joined the board. Dealroom estimated its value at around 21 million euros. Today it is likely to have doubled already.
The startup, founded to better manage the organization of the photo shoots of three freelancers, a year ago had already become a marketplace for companies that need quality images quickly. Boom allows medium and large companies to acquire photo shoots in 24 hours in 80 countries around the world through an automation system flanked by artificial intelligence algorithms that process thousands of photos every day to optimize size, visual content, remove background and in short, all those necessary adjustments. This is a rapidly growing market: the most popular competitors are the French Meero and Ocus and the American Snappr. The Boom team, however, has an edge. In fact, he has already realized an epochal change in progress: the photo has become a given. “Artificial intelligence for editing has become a commodity,” Dolci explains. The startup thus began its transformation into a tech company.
“The most important thing I have learned in these three years – Dolci says – is that the company is the people who make it. In Boom we have horizontal leadership ”. Boom has developed a technology that can predict what the photo (and now the video) will be that will convert best when paired with a product like a shoe, a car or a pizza. Customers, including brands such as Deliveroo and Campari Group, also have at their disposal a management system capable of organizing all the products purchased.
Today boom is a global company employing 85 people of 15 different nationalities in 10 countries. A single office, in Porta Romana in Milan, where you can meet for meetings and retreats. “After having changed six offices in two years, we decided to move to full remote – Dolci says – Last year, in the middle of the pandemic, we went from 20 to 60 people and the most complicated thing was to go from having to communicate every day where we would have worked at a totally flexible schedule, which includes the right to disconnect ”. The battle that is playing now Boom is not to move from Italy.
A new round will be needed next year to support technological development and growth in terms of companies served. Focusing on medium and large companies: “I learned the hard way that when you start up you have to stay focused and learn to say no – confesses Dolci – Before focusing on this segment, to grow we tried to expand the customer base by aiming to serve companies. smaller, but it didn’t work. We thus realized that believing in a new segment as a solution to a problem cannot be the solution to the problem ”. The difficult thing now may seem not to leave Italy to move to the US, but Dolci is convinced that there is no need: “Being in Italy was an opportunity and a choice. Covid has changed the cards on the table and remote working has opened up paths that were previously unthinkable. Milan today is worth London or New York, and the American and European funds we are talking with recognize that not being based in Italy is no longer an obstacle ”.