Tinus le Roux, Schalk van der Merwe and James Taylor met as first-year students at the University of Stellenbosch in 1995 and have been close friends since. After completing their respective studies, they soon found that their collective ambition and problem-solving skills were more than the ‘sum of the parts’ and started collaborating on a number of projects and ventures.
In 2005 they founded Virtual Africa, specializing in the relatively new art of 360º imagery and focused their efforts on creating high-quality interactive imagery for the South African tourism market. In 2009 they started experimenting with Gigapixel imaging. Within weeks of creating a highly successful 4 gigapixel image of Cape Town, plans were being made to extract commercial value out of this new trend in composite imaging. Skip forward lots of sleep deprivation, some ingenious problem solving, developing a sustainable business model and fundraising for the expansion of the company to do business on 5 continents, and you arrive at 10 September 2011, in Ann Arbor Michigan.
A capacity crowd of 110 000 Michigan University fans is packed into Michigan Stadium buzzing in anticipation of their team taking on arch rivals Notre Dame. The Fancam photographer captures the 110 000 excited fans at a resolution of 20 000 megapixels in 4 minutes and 28 seconds – a feat difficult to quantify if you’re not experienced in gigapixel photography, but a momentous feat none the less.
Fancam has grown from a cool idea with lots of potential to a well-oiled machine with even more.
The journey to this point can only be overshadowed by what lies ahead in the years to come.
Your products and services
Fancam is the pioneer in gigapixel event photography worldwide. They produce some of the world’s largest gigapixel images of events and cities and transform that into an interactive online engagement platform. The company’s core business model entails selling the platform to brands and customising the environment and interface for brands to use as part of their digital marketing efforts.
Started in 2010, Fancam is a South African born and bred startup with main focus on the US and European market. They have captured some of the world’s premium events including, Super Bowl, UEFA Champions League, Indian Premier League, NBA Finals, Daytona 500, and worked with fortune 500 companies such as Coca-Cola, Vodafone, Unilever, Red Bull, MillerCoors, etc. Being at the front of technology, Fancam thrives on innovation and delivering customised solutions for their clients. Two years after Fancam was born, a local company in Ireland entered the market as our competitor, however, they could never really keep up as Fancam stayed years ahead with constant innovation and market dominance.
Your success factors
The Fancam is one of the most cost-effective marketing platforms in the global digital marketing sphere. The platform has proven exceptionally popular among fans, event attendees and the target audiences. Users spend on average 10 minutes time on site for events, and average 20 minutes time on site for CityScapes. The time and level of engagement on the Fancam are unique compared to other types of advertising such as Google ads and paid advertising on social media. To brands, authentic fan engagement has become ever more powerful and
medium Fancam disrupts the value of existing digital marketing mediums. The F
Attention minute economy. More cost-effective digital marketing, way to reach bigger audience for less money and be sure they actually pay attention (unlike TV ads etc)
A few words about your competitors
Two years after Fancam was born, a local company in Ireland entered the market as our competitor, however they could never really keep up as Fancam stayed years ahead with constant innovation and market dominance