The following is an update from Layar CEO Quintin Schevernels.
My first 100 days as CEO of Layar have been very exciting!
When I started we launched our online self service tool for the print industry; the Layar Creator. This gives the opportunity to companies from all over the world to make their print products interactive within 1 minute. Now they can add the power of the internet and mobile directly to their print products. They now can give the opportunity to their users to watch or read additional content, buy products, share articles and more - all on top of their print products, giving print a new dimension.
In less than 100 days over 15,000 Creator accounts have been created, including companies from over 100 different countries, ranging from Japan to Argentina and from Sweden to South Africa. These companies are making their newspapers, in-store promotions, magazines, business cards, packaging or annual reports interactive with the Layar Creator.
Also we launched version 7.0 of the Layar App. This version is a big improvement. We made the app as easy and simple as possible and made Interactive Print the central focus. Based on initial feedback, the 7.0 launch has been a big success. We welcomed our 25th million download on the 17th of September, reaching a major milestone. And this number is growing every day with over 35.000 new downloads from all over the world. 24/7!
Big numbers. In a market that is emerging. This is just the beginning.
Over the last 100 days, I spent a lot of time with people involved with Layar. The founders, the management team, the Layar crew and of course our launching customers (just to name a few). We also did a lot of research. Research on the market, our users and our own statistics. Based on this it became clear that interest in Interactive Print is high. Therefore, Layar is ready to accelerate with Interactive Print.
Over the coming months we will focus on building best practices. We want to help customers in the print industry translate the possibilities of Interactive Print to their business objectives. We want to create a steep learning curve. This will create valuable insights that will help create the best possible products and the market to mature.
In order to take this next step, we will make a few changes:
- We will focus our product development on Interactive Print. Over the past years we have been exploring AR. This has been a very valuable journey. A journey that gave us a lot of insights and brought us to the strong position where we are today. However we are still a small company. We see a lot of opportunities in Interactive Print and we want to focus on these. One of the consequences is that we will stop the further development of Stiktu. Also we will strengthen our development team in Amsterdam and will be recruiting for developers.
- We want to lead innovation in Interactive Print. We believe that now is the time to add interactivity to print. With over 25 million downloads of the Layar App and the early adoption of the Layar Creator, we are in a very strong position for this. However, the possibilities of Interactive Print are for a lot of companies still a big unknown. Therefore we will do additional investments in marketing, business development and customer service to create awareness for Interactive Print and help customers get started. Amongst others, we recently decided to open an office in NYC (headed by Maarten) and we are recruiting for a V.P. of Marketing. Over the next months we will also be reinforcing our partner network.
- Last but not least, a maturing market and a changing strategy mean changing roles. Two of our founders and shareholders, Raimo and Claire, will soon have new roles. Together with co-founder Maarten, they brought Layar to where it is today and deserve tremendous respect for this. Now that they have brought the management in for the next phase, both Raimo and Claire feel comfortable to change their involvement. This means that from the 1st of January next year both Claire and Raimo will no longer be involved with Layar on a day-to-day basis. Raimo will of course continue to be a member of our Supervisory Board and keep on acting as sparring partner for our product strategy. Claire will stay involved as advisor to continue to represent our company around the world and show all the opportunities that AR and Layar have to offer.
My first 100 days at Layar have been very exciting. I have the strong feeling there is much more exciting times to come. We will keep you up to date!