I accidentally bumped into Pouria Ruhi, the VP of Business at Bambuser the Swedish live video streaming startup (thanks to Janne Saarikko for letting me know he was in town!). I’ve been following the company through different news for a while, but didn’t personally know anyone from there until now. While Ruhi was in a hurry to head to the airport we managed to exchange a few words about the current state of Bambuser and where they’re headed to in the near future.
When a Swedish startup’s VP of Business is in Finland we know there’s a business reason behind it. No VP of Business takes holiday trips to Finland this time of the year. This was the case with Pouria Ruhi as well. He had been participating in a half a day workshop at YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation. To me this looks as YLE is in the talks of doing business with Bambuser, what kind – that still remains a mystery.
While the company was started in 2007 as a school project which soon turned into a real company, a lot has happened since. Little did I know the company has a small development center in Turku, Finland as well. Also, the five founders have relatively diverse nationalities as well – one is Norwegian, two are Swedish and two are Finnish. The company received its first VC round from a Norwegian investor and they’re currently preparing for a second VC round.
Anyhow, I heard from Pouria Ruhi that they’re also developing some nice features and improvements to the service. A noteworthy issue is that while they’re working on some level with YLE (or looking to work), my guess is that there’s more to the co-operation than meets the eye. Bambuser is also working to bring valuable tools to the B2B segment. Pouria Ruhi did not disclose or confirm any of this, but said that there’s something there.
He kept on stating that instead of looking at a certain opportunity in the industry, they’re looking at the live video ecosystem as a whole. They want to find ways in which they are able to bring the most value to their clients by thinking fresh about the possibilities out there. One such example is the use of Bambuser as a tool to report emergency situations in Sweden to the State. Instead trying to studder something on the phone at a scene of accident the users are able to stream live video and give an overview of the situation in this way. Not sure how many people happen to have the Bambuser client on their phones, but a good example of looking at new opportunities.
Bambuser is certainly on a roll with their business. Having come from a simple school project, the company now employes 12 people in Sweden and Finland. On top of this they have signed up some 140 000 users to their service. Not a bad sign of things to come at all. My guess is that Pouria Ruhi will be spending more time travelling this year visiting other organisations similar to YLE.