Artificial Intelligence has played a vital role in transforming the traditional business processes and every AI employing sector has tasted its fruitful benefits. The exceptionally growing advertising sector is one of them. Flexibility and creativity are the most essential aspects of a media industry, and the authentic technologies like AI are capable of facilitating them. The advertising industry is well-occupied with avid leaders who understand the gravity of bringing out similar technologies for the betterment of clients. Their innovative approach and diligent efforts have changed the face of advertising industry. CIO Look admires such leaders and appreciates their contribution. And thus, this edition brings you the journey of an aspiring and proficient entrepreneur.
Meet Olga Egorsheva, Co-Founder and CEO of Lobster.
Below is the inspiring story of Olga, in her own her words.
When I was 21 years old, I started working in my father’s startup and decided to become an entrepreneur, because I wanted advertising world to be more authentic and honest. During my work at entrepreneurship in corporate companies (DHL), I couldn’t find the right authentic images for marketing materials, so I created a platform that will help to search for authentic UGC visual materials from anywhere in the world. Challenges drive me! The largest challenge was to make people believe that Lobster can change the existing paradigm about social media content being free, unregulated, and unable to use for professional work. I’m ready for all challenges and would make lemonade out of lemons in any situation. Even if the zombie apocalypse occurs, I would take some photos and would upload them on social media while escaping; to sell them via Lobster, of course. At Lobster, we believe that lots of good photography is available out there on the internet and we arrived to help both authors and clients. I want everyone to be happy and lawful at the same time. Thus, we try to deliver as much support as needed.
My vision of AdTech future
I’m an internationally-minded visionary with a natural instinct for disruptive technologies. My first taste of entrepreneurship arrived in the form of a family photography business, which I founded with my father back in 2005. From there, I broadened my global expertise by working across a diverse array of cities, including Oslo, Paris and Bonn. Following an MBA, which involved hands-on corporate entrepreneurship experience, I settled in London with an ambitious idea to disrupt the content search and licensing field forever. Joining forces with two co-founders, this new venture was announced to the world from the stages of TechCrunch Europe. There’s a lack of authentic visual content for advertising, marketing and social media campaigns. Some of these campaigns will strive to appeal to very specific or local consumer audiences, and that requires the use of relevant, diverse visual content.
On the other hand, it is illegal to use the two billion photos and videos posted on social media daily. The absence of a framework to source IP rights from these contributors prohibits industry leaders from approaching this authentic content while enabling unintentional piracy and copy-paste attitudes among the SMB marketers. To solve this issue, Lobster has created a framework that is changing the fragmented space where tons of social media content is produced, but you can’t license it for legal re-use, neither can discover and curate it efficiently.
As a CEO and Co-founder at Lobster, I’m overseeing its research and marketing, and guiding the product, R&D and commercialization strategy, as well as representing the company in conferences and speakership opportunities for our thought leadership and sharing industry advances. My current attention is deeply focused on investing every ounce of effort into the team, the community and raising industry awareness. We raised awareness about normalized copyright infringement that plagues the creative market of social media visual content. The solution might not have been obvious to everyone, but we envisioned it and made Lobster what it is today.
I can always rely on my co-founders: Maria and Andrey. Maria, Design Director and Co-Founder, is an experienced UX & UI specialist with a passion for creating new products from scratch, driven by strategic vision and new trends in design, while focused on execution. And, Andrey, Co-Founder and QA Director, has a 10-year experience of the product, QA and operational experience for major IT brands and startups. We share success and pitfalls. It includes foodie nights and even painting walls in the office together.
Lobster is the world’s largest and smartest platform to connect everyone on social media (over 2 billion people) with other people who need content. Lobster has created the framework that is changing the fragmented space where tons of social media content is produced, but you can’t license it for legal re-use, neither can discover and curate it efficiently. The sources of photo and video content include Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, VK, Youtube, Vimeo, Google photos, Verizon Cloud, Dropbox and Foursquare. Any user can sign up with a social media account that they actively post original and creative content in, confirm they are sharing their own content, and allow for all or selected content to be available on the marketplace for licensing, receiving 75% of all their sales. Through social media APIs, with our real-time system of data workers, we constantly pull images and videos, tags, locations and other metadata, so they become available to our creative clients to find and license within one interface.
We’ve built the AI empowered search and content ranking, and simple intellectual property licensing for creative to source photo, video, gif content from real people across the globe. When the volume of content has grown, we realized we couldn’t rely solely on metadata and traditional search tech, and introducing AI is the solution. With our AI technology we automatically tag, describe and rank the photos & videos by quality and relevance. We’ve developed the outstanding machine-learning based creative features including the Visual Style Matcher (search by a brand’s mood board or photo samples), Super Resolution (expanding low-res social photos to suit for print, keeping the quality) and Smart Filter Preset, Abstract Language Search and more. With both of these technologies, Lobster is changing the world of social media content rights from anarchic or otherwise over-regulated to organized, legally viable and accessible.
My Distinctive Approach for the Future
At the moment we are raising a late seed of £3M in 2 parts: £1M in October – for this we’re launching a Crowdcube campaign and we’d be happy to share that with you + £2M by Jan 31st; We’re looking for strategic investment from VC’s in the UK, Europe and US (East and West Coast), investors to be our partners in the next chapter of growth, that have a great experience in adtech, creative technology or marketplaces.
Lobster partnered with the image rights management platform, KODAKOne. This is one of the first cases of blockchain technology being adopted to protect rights and compensate creators. We help our photographers to assert control over their work. Currently, in its second phase of testing, our partnership with KODAKOne is almost ready to be rolled out for use upon request throughout Lobster.
Our team at Lobster is open not only for tech, but also for creative and charity collaborations. We launched #memorydonation campaign in partnership With Alzheimer’s Disease International, at the initiative of Leo Burnett. So people can now donate memories in the form of images and videos. Taking part is simple and free, just sign up to Lobster and use the hashtag #memorydonation on the image you want to contribute when you upload it to social media. Lobster’s AI technology will automatically put your photo or video for sale to creatives, designers and the media. All proceeds from your Memory Donation will go to your local Alzheimer’s Disease International department. We send our thanks to Leo Burnett Moscow for the idea and look forward to welcoming your #memorydonation soon.