Albumatic, At Last

Everyone now has a camera in their pocket at all times. That camera is connected to the internet at all times. That camera is capable of being utilized by hundreds of thousands of apps. Those apps all have social graphs that allow you to connect with other internet-connected camera-carrying friends. It’s almost inexplicable that there isn’t a killer social photo album service yet.

And yet, despite many (many, many, many, many) failed attempts, there isn’t. So perhaps I’ll sound foolish thinking that Albumatic is going to be the one. But I’ll be damned if it doesn’t feel like it is.

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Here’s our first commercial as a creative agency! Concept and production all accomplished by SoulPancake Productions for the new iPhone app, ALBUMATIC! 

Follow me on Albumatic (@thedrowntown) I’ve started a couple of albums for inspiration, reference, and of course, my work. Other artists will be able to upload pics to each as well, creating a really interesting chunk of shiz to look at. fizz yah.

5 Companies That Excite Me Right Now Part III

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In March 2011 I wrote a post titled “Things That Excite Me Right Now.” Then 9 months ago I wrote a post called “5 Companies That Excite Me Right Now Part II.” Here comes Part III.

Just to keep track, from the first one, one company got acquired, another company is silently killing it, and another shuttled and is now working as an EIR at GRP. From the second list, one company raised a crazy round with some of the biggest investors in the game, one was just featured in the print version of Vanity Fair, and the others are still unveiling and coming out of beta.

Without further ado: list #3

Harrys 
They just announced the product a week ago, but they’ve been working on it for awhile. One of the founders from Warby Parker is the brainchild (one of the co-founders) of this shaving startup. I’ve seen the product and it looks pretty solid, I think they can do is major damage to the big blade and razor companies.

Grand St. 
They have the potential to be the Fab.com for technology. Every day they show me amazing looking devices that I want to buy immediately. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but I know it is coming soon.

Albumatic
Albumatic is what Color would have been if it had worked. I’ve been using Albumatic in SXSW and it is quite useful. Being a local, social photo sharing network, it’s interesting to follow and see what places are blowing up with photos. I’m curious to see now that SXSW is over.

Myo
I want super powers. Myo gives you super powers. So hence they excite me. Myo is a wearable gesture control technology. What does this mean? Telekinesis, yes. Myo is an armband that uses advanced sensors to translate your muscles’ motions and movements into wireless interactions with technology. This allows you to seamlessly control your digital world. You can manipulate your computer, play video games and more with simple gestures. GLORIOUS.

#waywire 
This is a curation network for people to create, discover, and share videos. They have been quietly building a little empire. The content is divided into three components: original content (10%), curated content (70%), and user generated content (20%). The team is pretty ridiculous (in a good way) and I think in 2013 we will be hearing a lot more from them.

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Fly Or Die: Albumatic

In a land where entrepreneurs are struggling desperately to integrate location into the worldwide photo-sharing phenomenon, Albumatic may have swooped in just in time.

Ventures like Color and others have tried and failed, and not for lack of funding, to let users enjoy location-based events by sharing photos with each other around that specific event. However, it turns out that sharing photos with strangers, whether you find yourself in the same location or not, doesn’t attract users as much as you’d think.

It’s not the photo-sharing that stops people, but more the “location” bit. Even Highlight, which has nothing to do with photos per se, hasn’t taken off as expected due to the fact that location has very little to do with relevance when it comes to social.

Albumatic takes a new approach, by letting users close-by join Albums and add to them, while users far away can join to watch, but not add. This gives a little more control to the user, and also allows people who aren’t right there next to you still enjoy the photo-sharing process.

Albumatic is in the process of raising $ 4.5 million in funding, according to a recent SEC filing.

All in all, it’s unclear if people really want or need a service like that, especially alongside our many media-sharing apps like Instagram, Vine, etc. However, if there is a demand for location-based photo-sharing, Albumatic seems to have it figured out.

Two flies.


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I don’t have an opinion about Albumatic itself, since I haven’t used it, but this is one of the best app demo videos I’ve seen, especially for a social application. They hit all the key social components here: timeliness, lots of friends, and useful notifications. 

Something else I find really refreshing about this app: No photo filters!

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Albumatic Photo Sharing App Is Raising $4.5 Million, Says SEC Filing

Albumatic, the latest venture photo-sharing from Devon Gundry and Vine investor Adam Ludwin, is raising a $ 4.5 million round in funding, according to a recent SEC filing.

Adam Ludwin, co-founder and principal at RRE Ventures, Devon Gundry, and RRE managing partner Stuart Ellman are all named in the filing.

The app launched just three weeks ago. According to the Form D filing, a total of ten unnamed investors have already invested in the offering, in exchange for equity. Of the $ 4.5 million total offering amount, $ 4,045,002 has been sold. Not much else has been disclosed.

Albumatic has gotten quite a bit of attention since its launch, with MG Siegler taking a particular liking to it.

Perhaps it’s gaining popularity due to the fact that you can share pictures with friends in the moment based on a certain event, but location doesn’t have to be a barrier to that sharing. Nearby friends can participate by adding to the Event album, while users from afar can watch in real-time, maybe feeling a little closer to their friends.

Albumatic isn’t about sharing photos with your friends later on, nor is it about randomly connecting with people nearby. Instead, it allows you to create and capture events with friends in the moment.

Ludwin described his approach as, “fun and done.” We’ve reached out to Ludwin, but he wasn’t able to respond by time of publication.



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Led By Vine Investor Adam Ludwin, Albumatic Launches A Collaborative Photo Album App That People Might Actually Use

One of the startup ideas that I’ve been hearing about for years is the social photo album — a service that doesn’t just let you share photos with your friends, but also create albums with them. Adam Ludwin and Devon Gundry have seen a lot of those startups, too, but they’re trying to crack the problem with their new startup Albumatic.

Ludwin (a principal at RRE Ventures, where he led the seed round in Twitter-acquired social video startup Vine) told me that when he and Gundry (a musician who also started a social media company with actor Rainn Wilson) first started thinking about the app, they realized there were a bunch of other products that never got significant consumer traction — the most high-profile flameout was probably Color. And they decided that the key factor was location.

At this point, you might be feeling a bit skeptical, but stay with me. (Even Ludwin admitted, “When we realized that we were building a social local mobile app, we thought, ‘Are there any more clichés that we can pull out?’”) Albumatic isn’t about sharing photos with your friends later on, nor is it about randomly connecting with people nearby. Instead, it allows you to create and capture events with friends in the moment.

So for example, if you’re at a party, you can create an album for party photos on Albumatic, and if there are Albumatic users nearby who you’ve friended in the app, they’ll get a notification, allowing them to join the album and add photos (since they’re probably at the same event). Albumatic friends who are further away can “watch” the album and get notified when new photos get added. It effectively turns a photo album into a real-time event, and at the end you’ve got a nice record of the party. Ludwin described his approach as, “fun and done.”

One of the challenges facing any app like this is making sure there are enough users and enough content that early users don’t feel like they’re just sharing photos into a void. Ludwin argued that even if you have only one other friend on Albumatic, it should be worthwhile, because you suddenly have access to all these photos that they’ve taken and albums that they’ve joined. One of the most important goals, he added, was to make sure the app could be used regularly at casual events: “Do not build a weddings app. As soon as you go down that road, you’ve failed.”

In the early testing, Ludwin said he’s noticed that during the week, people tend to use Albumatic as a way to share photos with their friends from solo outings. Then when the weekend starts, it’s “game on” and you start to have more group albums.

I tried out the app last night. Since it was a Wednesday, it was definitely solo mode — I shared photos from my dinner in one album, while browsing photos of the Albumatic team as it prepared for launch. Even so, it was actually pretty fun, and I’m looking to trying it out more heavily this weekend. (It helped that Ludwin and Gundry kept liking and commenting on my photos — keep it up guys!)

As for the business model, Ludwin said there’s nothing concrete right now, but he noted that there are opportunities for additional premium services around things like photo quality and storage. He was also adamant that the Albumatic app will always be free and that it will never run ads.

By the way, Ludwin said he plans to remain at RRE while also working on Albumatic: “Should be a busy time! But fun.”

You can download the Albumatic app here.