Blippar, a startup that spun out of a joke to amass millions of users and bring static content to life.
It wasn’t a knock-knock joke, but a silly challenge between friends that brought the queen on a ten pound note to life, which later would be developed into Blippar. CTO and Co-founder Omar Tayeb describes Blippar as an “Image and object recognition platform that allows users to point their camera device at any image or object and instantly get a rich piece of digital or media content.” Using his technical skills, Omar took the challenge of bringing the queen to life on the ten pound note from Co-founder Ambarish Mitra and developed a prototype. “When we saw it working, we could immediately see that right now this is the best way to bridge the physical world with the digital world.”
Before launching Blippar as a full scale business, Omar and Ambarish brought on co-founders Steve Spencer (CCO) and Jessica Butcher (CMO) to work on the brand and marketing side of the business. Omar says that this was a key early move to help the company get off of the ground and capture early users and the attention of future users. After initial campaigns to get the word out about Blippar, the company started to get a lot of press coverage, and business soon followed.
“I do see this technology (as) the way we will interact with the physical world in the future.”
Since launching in late 2010, Blippar has grown to 60 employees. Out of all of the accomplishments and awards Omar has received over the past four years, I asked what experience has been the best so far. “The best experience is hiring some of the smart people that are working in the company and working with them every day,” Said Omar. When asked the key to their early success, Omar said their relationships with brands and celebrities have really helped the brand explode and obtain massive amounts of users.
Blippar may have started from a joke among two friends, but the impact and potential of the company is real and growing fast.
- Don’t just settle for the highlights, listen to the full interview with Blippar’s Omar Tayeb below!
- How Omar paired his passion for technology with entrepreneurial influences around him.
Q: What’s your best piece of advice for young entrepreneurs?
A: “Hire good people and get good co-founders. The business can’t be built by one person.”
- If Omar could start one business in another industry, it would be in energy. He is fascinated by the subject and recently read Twilight in the Desert.