Making a live broadcast has never been easier

Gabor Schwarz, Gergely Szel – RecNGo

It is almost evident that there is no business success without an online presence these days and related technologies are evolving at a rapid pace. Every day there is a new digital innovation, something that never existed before. Not surprisingly, video content is becoming more and more prominent in our lives since we are now mostly watching videos instead of reading. It is also evident that in the e-commerce industry getting ahead of the curve and using innovation can be crucial. Gabor Schwarz from Ustream and his co-founder Gergely Szel recognized this opportunity, and set up RECnGO to bring a revolutionary innovation to the live broadcasting market that is unbeatable in terms of cost and time efficiency.

With their application, users can create a broadcast network of up to 12 cameras from their own smart devices, bringing a new dimension to live broadcasting and video content production.

„Today, market players are already producing videos and live streams on a high level, and we want to give them – whether they are amateur or business videographers – a tool that enables them to produce even more professional content. Not only can our app significantly improve quality, but with intelligent editing capabilities that can be applied during the broadcast, we can also say goodbye to long hours of editing after the recording.” – says Gabor Schwarz, one of the founders of RECnGO.

The founders all worked in the marketing and media world before. That’s partly where the idea to make life easier for others came from. For bigger productions, operators have to go out with vans, heavy equipment and a lot of people which is not at all cost-effective. The founders of RECnGO saw that the content production market was moving towards mobile phones and more and more people were looking for options for live streaming. They wanted to compress the work of up to 3-4 people, different camera views, the ability to edit and technical equipment such as a mixing console into one application. The app is now available for iOS and Android. Their app has two unique advantages in the market. One is that the two operating systems can be used in a cross-platform format. This has allowed the team to overcome a barrier that was a major problem for users around the world. The other is that their solution does not require the use of servers, which would otherwise impose incredibly high costs on users. They have been able to technologically circumvent this by a clever solution in the application.

From small steps to dynamic development

„I think raising the right amount of capital in this country is one of the most difficult tasks. Every day I come across good ideas that don’t materialize, because often the team can’t present themselves and their ideas to investors properly. This problem is only magnified when you are talking about an international investor. In addition, time constraints are a huge difficulty. In our fast-paced world, an idea is often outdated before it finds investors. That’s why it was such a huge step in our lives when we got our very first investment in 2019. It was a huge boost for the company and for the development of our product, bringing our ideas to life.” – the founders recall.

After the kick-off in 2020, they were included in the TOP100 Hungarian Digital Development publication and in the same year they signed a sales partnership with Catawiki, one of Europe’s largest digital marketplaces. Last year, the company reached another milestone, receiving an additional HUF 250 million in capital investment, which helped them to take their software to the next level and start building their corporate structure.

„The professional and financial support of our investor was a huge help to us. For startups, the lack of the necessary budget is one of the biggest obstacles. Without outside help, it is not so easy to make both ends meet. In this area, we believe that Hiventures is outstanding and we owe them a lot. They are always supportive in our cooperation and we get added value from them on the professional side to ensure RECnGO’s future sustainability and progress” – says Gergely Szel, co-founder and CEO of RECnGO.

In 2021, the company was involved in a number of startup programs, from which they say they have learned a lot and are able to use this knowledge on a daily basis. Among these programs, they highlighted the startup programme „AHa!Brainstore” launched by Antenna Hungaria.

Here, the company and its product came to the attention of the program’s initiator, and active communication has been ongoing between the two companies ever since. From Antenna Hungaria’s side, the team’s mentor is Csaba Mehes (Head of Sales, Media Services Department), who sees RECnGO as a highly innovative and forward-looking solution and highlights its market value and applicability.

As the years have gone by, the company’s business model has become clearer and clearer, as is perfectly demonstrated by the dynamic growth of their revenues. After 2020, the company has already achieved a 500% increase in turnover in 2021, which will be surpassed in 2022. Only three months into this year, but they have already managed to more than triple their 2021 turnover.

The technological progress in the market is astonishing

The battery capacity and camera of the smartphones and tablets on the market are becoming more sophisticated every year. It’s no wonder that even Hollywood is shooting movies with iPhones. The ability to capture 4K content is in everyone’s pocket. This is a market that is going to really take off. There are predictions that the live streaming market could reach nearly $125 billion by 2025 and $224 billion by 2028. The coming years will presumably be about fine-tuning these systems. It is possible that the time will soon come when we will be able to shoot a two-hour film on our mobile phones without the need for a power bank, and without the need for a battery. It is another question what will be the output platform where users will consume this content. „Back then, content delivery was done with big cameras, many meters of cable and broadcast trucks. Then the market changed, smartphones came along, and better phones appeared on the market, and customers said they didn’t need big studio solutions for everything. They can do a Facebook or YouTube LIVE themselves or with a smaller budget supplier, because they always have their mobile phone on hand. We now live in an absolute mobile-first world, where you shoot video on your mobile and chances are your target audience will watch it on their phone. The user behavior, the way content consumption and technological developments are also clearly painting a positive picture for us” – Gabor Schwarz, Head of Business Development and Sales at RECnGO. And the number of use cases is only growing. The company started out with a focus on media and news, as well as end-user, everyday broadcasting, but the world has since changed in many ways. Perhaps one of the most significant of these has been the impact of COVID-19, which has completely transformed the way we consume content and, in many cases, the way we do business. In previous years, it was unthinkable to hold conferences and major events online, just as it was unimaginable for companies to move almost entirely online in their day-to-day operations.

It is now completely natural for everyone to join a meeting online rather than in person. In fact, it is more surprising when someone initiates a face-to-face meeting. Whether this is good or bad, only time will tell, but it is a trend that is likely to stay with us for some time. Today, no one is surprised when a brand presents its new collection in an online live stream, or when the customers can buy that collection straight away. Big brands and companies have noticed that the market is moving in this direction, so they have had to adapt.

„Last year, one of our clients presented their premium watches in the form of an online workshop, where we supported the live stream with several camera views and added extra images and videos to make it even more exciting. The format of the broadcast allowed the brand to reach its target audience and showcase its products in a spectacular way, despite the pandemic situation.”

However, it was not only brands but also very specific industries that saw the potential in using video and especially live video content. Recently, the company has also seen a surge in interest in live streaming to show and sell real estate. The company has carried out several such projects in the recent past and this solution has proven to be very effective in practice. „There have been cases where a property has been sold within 24 hours, which is a very good result, especially when you compare the incredibly low level of resources invested with the level of revenue generated. We see a huge potential in the real estate market and we will definitely pay special attention to this direction in the future.” – Gabor Schwarz highlights.

A vision that gives a new energy boost every day

According to Gergely Szel, the company’s CEO, one of the biggest challenges is to attract and retain good professionals. This is a major challenge for a startup, especially as it is still very limited financially before the breakout. In the current economic climate, it is not easy to be attractive and desirable in the labor market. In order to achieve this attractive status, the company is working day by day to shape its corporate culture to best meet the expectations and working environment of the modern workforce. One such example is that the company operates two small offices, one in the countryside and the other in Budapest, in order to be flexible to respond to the needs of colleagues or to the day-to-day business.

“Our corporate culture also strongly supports home offices, which is a natural part of our business. It would be odd if we were the ones to impose a personal presence. Some of our colleagues are from Budapest, some from Szekesfehervar, and we even have colleagues from Slovakia. We believe in working efficiently and in creating value. We don’t want to get bogged down in things like having to sit in one office, in one space, and that’s the only way to work. We do not believe in that. We need to be flexible and impactful, just like our product does for our customers.” – adds Gergely Szel, the company’s CEO. As for future plans, the company’s founders are unanimous in saying that they see a chance to get into a serious breakout position around 2024. This is supported by technological advances and market adaptation. By then, the company will have reached a stage where even an exit could be considered. In the meantime, the focus will be on improving the product and the corporate structure and on achieving even higher levels of profitability.

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