Azerbaijani Entrepreneur Launches Tech Start-up In London
Young entrepreneur Nail Valiyev takes us through his plan to revolutionize customer reviews and connect businesses to consumers through videos
Video reviews are more authentic and allow viewers to make an emotional connection with brands says Nail Valiyev; a young entrepreneur who wants to revolutionise the way consumers connect to products.
Nail predicts that video is the next frontier in social media. According to a study by Futuresource Consulting, online video views are expected to exceed 770 bilion this year across four countries. Cisco is predicting 90 per cent of Internet traffic will be video by 2014 and Web 2.0 News reports that photos and videos are the fastest growing mobile app category.
Nail is capitalizing on these trends through his company 42 Video. He describes 42 Video as the "video yellow pages" or a Time Out for business and social commentary.
According to Nail, written commentary isn’t doing it anymore. He said, “Videos give you a much better impression. You have the chance to see if a place is worth visiting and how the experience is really.”
The competitive advantage for 42 Video is that most reviews are written, but videos give people, especially tourists, a chance to see a place before visiting. Furthermore, written reviews are not always authentic so people are reluctant to engage with or trust them.
42 Video is poised to solve the problem of low engagement. By advertising through videos, brands can make their products stand out and instantly give a better picture of their business.
Nail’s role at 42 Video is Business Development and Marketing Director. The company operates out of Innovation Warehouse, an incubator in London.
Nail was on an internship at the Warehouse when he met with Zee West, manager at the Warehouse. Zee invited Nail along with third co-founder Faisal Zaidi to join. They started out as a conventional video production company covering corporate events and creating animations, before moving into more social media-friendly videos.
Nail says that the team of five full-time staff, plus external web developers are kept busy with a steady stream of clients and lots of ground to cover. “For a start-up we make enough revenue but we need investment so that we can spend on marketing ourselves”, he said.
On 42 Video, consumers will be able to submit video reviews and businesses will be able to pay to promote videos and for banner ads. 42 Video will earn revenue from ads and subscriptions and as they grown their user base, they can sell data on consumer behaviour to larger corporates.
Some rivals of the business include Viddy, worth US $350 million, with 30 million users, and Socialcam, which was sold for $60 million after only 18 months of trading. 42 Video has received nods of confidence from the likes of Angliya Newspaper, the biggest Russian language newspaper in Britain, and received funding from the UK government.
Nail, 24, was born in Baku, Azerbaijan and got his first degree in International Relations. He interned with several international organizations including the World Bank but wanted to try his hand at something entrepreneurial.
He headed to London to study for the Master in Management at Grenoble Ecole de Management's London Campus and in the process also gained an MBA from Cardiff University. He had checked out Grenoble’s ranking on the internet and wanted to attend the school, but he also wanted to live in London, and so the ability to do the course in London was perfect for him.
The company is now looking for seed investment of up to £150,000. Their new website and app will be ready within the next few weeks and visitors can start to contribute videos. They are on the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) scheme so investors will benefit from tax breaks on whatever money they put into the business.
Nail believes now is the right time to look for seed investment. “We are at a good place and it’s very beneficial for investors”, he said.
“As we get that money then we’ll be able to get more media attention and more clients. We would also like investors who can give us access to resources and clients and we want to move globally after that. Our business is quite scalable and can be done quickly unlike some ventures where you need to wait four to five years to recoup investments.”
We asked Nail if he felt intimated being a young entrepreneur about to make such a big move and he said he feels quite confident about it. From his teenage years he has helped his father in real estate and in his wholesale alcohol products business in Russia.
“It was difficult to adapt to tech entrepreneurship because it’s not so strong in my country, but that was the reason I came to London to study.
"I learned from my tutors, got the chance to engage with tech entrepreneurs, gained work experience, and all these have to led to me becoming more confident”, he said.
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