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In Interview With Shashank Singh, CEO & Founder, FLYX

  1. Tell us about your company. When was the company founded? Who were the founders? Tell us more about their backgrounds. 

FLYX is a streaming social media app founded in April 2020 by seasoned technologists, Shashank Singh and Mayank Mishra. It was launched in India in July 2020. Flyx is linked to 100+ streaming providers including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, Hulu, iTunes, Quibi, Apple TV, HBO MAX, Hotstar, Google Play, Fandango, CBS, NBC amongst others. The app is available for free download on both the Apple and Google Play stores. 

Some key features are:

  • What to watch: Use Flyx to know what friends and family are recommending.
  • Discover trending and search: Be updated with what movies and shows are trending across various platforms. No need to Google anymore.
  • Where to watch: Flyx will guide users to the right platform to watch the selected content. The platform is linked to 100+ streaming providers including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, Hulu, iTunes, Quibi, Apple TV+, HBO, Google Play, Fandango, CBS, NBC, and many more.
  • Sharelist – Show off your favorite movies or start a queue of shows. Comment, tag and use hashtags with your friends.
  • Create fun stories: Create new kinds of stories available only on Flyx. Stories can be about favorite shows, questions about the shows and letting friends know what one is watching. These stories can be posted on Instagram and Snapchat too.
  • Watch trailers:  One central place to see all trailers in a fun way and share trailers with friends and post on social networks.
  • Unified watch-list across platforms: Create a watchlist on the go and add movies and shows in one central place regardless of where they are available.
  • Flyx helps users to communicate with their network through Voice Assistants such as Siri and Alexa

The app was founded by Shashank Singh and Mayank Mishra. 

Shashank Singh, CEO & Founder, FLYX. He has over 18 years’ of  experience in consulting, media and technology Shashank has worked across product engineering, product management and product marketing. He has a proven track record of using technology to identify unmet consumer needs and capturing the early adopters market. At Flyx he has set the overall strategic roadmap for the company, drives product development, customer experience, technology, and marketing. Shashank comes with a strong technology background and specializes in Big-Data, AI, Machine Learning and has keen interest in blockchain technology. 

Mayank Mishra, COO & Co-founder, is a visionary technologist, bringing several years of thoughtful leadership in all stages of technology design, development, and execution in support of a product vision and road-map with experience from large corporations to early startups adept in conceiving, defining, developing, and launching Web and mobile applications. Mayank is also CTO of ility, a SaaS platform for commercial real estate asset management. Mayank also heads technology for IAB Tech Lab and has helped shape and define the ad-tech industry for the vast majority of his career.

  1. What Inspired you to start your venture in this particular domain? What is unique about your products/services? 

The idea of FLYX was born out of the real struggle to find something to watch and we eventually ended up asking our friends and family for suggestions. The core principle of FLYX is to reduce time in decision-making and discover great content to watch from the people you trust most with their personal taste. There are a plethora of options available in the market today but none of them have a great social experience. There is a huge need for a social platform where people can connect with people they trust and discuss and share their thoughts and views on movies and shows

FLYX is a one of its kind highly interactive and fun social platform, where users can engage with their friends and followers through stories, private and group chats, watch trailers, read news, create shareable lists and exchange notes and comments with followers about the new and upcoming releases.

  1. Tell us more about features of the app?

In addition to the features mentioned above, we have recently launched a new exciting and innovative feature called Sharelist on the platform. The new feature will enable users to share recommendations of movies and shows with their friends and family and across social media platforms in real-time. The feature is available for both Android and iOS users. 

Users can easily create a Share list by selecting their favourite movies and shows, giving it a unique name, and then share it in their groups. The lists can either be shared on FLYX or any other social platform such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter. With Sharelist, users can drop comments, tag their friends, add more movies or shows, and even use hashtags on their posts. If you like what your friends have to say, you can even change the list in real-time. With Sharelist, users can start conversations and never run out of things to watch again making the experience extremely enjoyable and engaging. 

  1. Tell us more about the industry and the competition in this particular segment. It would be great if you can share some market trends in the industry.

Currently, we have two competitors in the segment- Just Watch and Likewise. Owing to the pandemic, there has been a huge surge in the OTT consumption in India. According to a report by Boston Consulting Group ( BCG), India is set to witness a surge in the number of OTT users to 5 billion by 2020, making India the second largest, right after the U.S.  Moreover, India’s video streaming industry is all set to grow at a CAGR of 21.82% to reach Rs. 11,977 crore by 2023.

In order to understand the OTT industry,  we undertook a survey between July and August, on OTT behaviour with 500+ netizens  pan-India. The survey was a deep dive into how streaming services are capturing consumer attention and related consumer behaviour and preferences. The survey revealed interesting trends. Over 50% of the respondents. 

The survey showcased that while Amazon Prime Video was the most subscribed to platform closely followed by Netflix and then Hotstar, the most popular platform amongst subscribers was Netflix with a 60% majority. Other important trends showcased in the survey was rise in the hours spent watching content had increased during the pandemic, with consumption hours of respondents in the 8-12 hours per week category seeing an over 2.5 times increase, the 12-16 hours viewing a 4 times increase and 16+ hours witnessing a whopping 5 times increase during lockdown. The most interesting finding was that 62% respondents were ready to go back to the theatres post the pandemic.

  1. What kinds of challenges have you faced in founding your company and in the subsequent time period? How did you overcome these difficulties? Are there any takeaways from them which can help in furthering the growth of your company?

In our case it was actually the opposite. We had to prepone our launch since OTT viewing had seen a big surge post covid. Flyx had launched in private invite-only beta earlier this year and we were planning a late-summer or early monsoon release but then COVID-19 happened and we suddenly saw a huge spike in activity within our small group of 500 private beta testers. Our friends and family wanted to invite their friends into the app and demanded that Flyx be launched. So, in short, COVID-19 forced us to advance our launch, and so far the response has been overwhelming. We are focusing on India as it is home to more than 40+ OTT platforms and is the second-largest market predicted to reach $5 billion in size by 2023.

  1. Tell us about your journey so far, your current team, and also its customer base and revenues.

The 14-member startup is headquartered in New York, with six remote employees in India. It is contemplating setting up an office in Delhi or Mumbai.

In the last six months, the app has recorded over 45,000 downloads and 35,000 email sign-ups across platforms. Almost 70 percent of its users are from India. 

  1. What are the strengths of your company?

FLYX is a one of its kind highly interactive and fun social platform, where users can engage with their friends and followers through stories, private and group chats, shareable lists, watch trailers, read news & reviews, create shareable lists, and exchange notes and comments with followers about the new and upcoming releases.

It is linked with 100+ major streaming players like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, Hulu, iTunes, Quibi, Apple TV+, HBO Max, Hotstar, Google Play, and many more. The app is available for free download on both the Apple and Google Play stores.

  1. What are the addressable market and underlying opportunities you are going after?

FLYX is an ingenious platform that helps the world’s growing population of OTT content consumers connect with each other, and share opinions and recommendations of what they watch online- thereby battling the decision fatigue that comes from an abundance of content on the web.

With India being the second largest marketplace for OTT content, after the US, FLYX has already garnered positive reviews and has seen a surge in users. India’s video streaming industry is all set to grow at a CAGR of 21.82% to reach Rs. 11,977 crore by 2023 India’s Over the top (OTT) industry has jumped a whopping 240 percent between 2016 and 2019.  India currently has around 40 OTT platforms.

  1. How have you distributed your initial funds so far? Do you have any plan to raise funds in the near future?

The initial funds have been deployed to scale our operations, we plan to enhance technology, and add more streaming and social networking platforms to provide users a more comprehensive experience. We are working on some really exciting features which we are targeting to release before the end of the year and then we will look to do our seed round.

 

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