ACE Startup Feature – Veeroll
One Passion, Three Businesses
A love for video and technology has spun off three different but related businesses for entrepreneur JC Bougle. We sit down with the man behind fewStones, Veeroll and Powata to learn more.
JC Bougle is a busy man. He is co-founder and director of fewStones, a digital agency, Veeroll, an automated online video advertisement creation service and Powata, an enterprise software solution provider — pretty impressive for an entrepreneur who started out just six years ago.
“I’ve always loved technology. I picked up programming when I was 13 or 14 years old and tried my hand at creating a a small e-commerce website a long time ago. I always knew I wanted to build something of my own, so when the time was right, I took the leap,” said the former banker.
This leap first came in the form of fewStones, a digital agency offering web development and video production services that JC co-founded with his engineering-trained business partner Sophie Normand in 2011.
“Rather than going at it alone, I saw value in working with a partner. We have complementary skillsets — I handle business development while Sophie focuses on the technical aspects of the business. It’s also great to have a source of feedback, especially when we’re discussing strategy and ideas,” he explained.
Shortly after, they noticed a gap in the market for video advertising services. Leveraging the in-house expertise that fewStones already owned, JC and Sophie roped in a third partner, Gideon Shalwick, and created Veeroll in 2014.
“We saw (and continue to see) huge potential in the video advertising market. At that time, YouTube was taking off and Facebook hadn’t even ventured into this space. But for many companies, producing a video ad was too expensive and too difficult. The idea behind Veeroll was to provide an automated video ad production service online to simplify this process and make it more affordable and accessible,” explained JC.
Veeroll provides tools, templates and tutorials to guide users on creating their own video advertisements and the process, according to JC, can take as little as five to 10 minutes.
“Our main challenge was user perception — the mental bias that video ads are expensive and difficult. This still holds true today, although to a lesser extent, as we have focused our efforts on educating the market,” he said.
As companies become more receptive to video advertising, Veeroll is facing stiffer competition but JC remains optimistic that there’s plenty of room for growth, in part due to digital marketing gaining traction and generations of digital natives coming of age.
“Video ads can be extremely powerful in retargeting customers and driving traffic,” he said. “When the right messages are pushed to the right audience, in the right format and at the right time, it’s a gold mine, really.”
So in addition to automated video ad production, Veeroll provides other value-added services, such as a recommended list of ad placement videos and channels, to help users navigate the world of video advertising.
“We have always been very market-centric. I think ideas are just a small part of the entrepreneurial journey. It’s important to hear what the market has to say — to validate your idea before implementing it, to listen to the feedback that your users are giving you, and to upgrade your product in ways that help them achieve their goals,” said JC.
“To me, entrepreneurship is about finding real-world pain points that are worth solving.”
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