puts photos, videos under one roof

BOULDER — How many times have you actually received the photos everyone promised to send after a get-together? You know a lot of phones and cameras captured the moments and you also know that at least three people will never get around to sharing their shots.

The rest of the gang, however, will most likely post their pics to various sites — from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Flickr. All you have to do is sift through everyone’s social media of choice to find them.

Or you could use soon-to-be-launched to create a spot where everyone can post and view their photos and videos all in one place.

One of the enticements of Birdbox is that it doesn’t matter where the media is initially uploaded. All it takes is a hashtag, a click and voila, you have a group-accessible “nest” — Birdbox’s term for an album.

“It’s just too much work for people to move photos and videos from their hard drive to a thumb drive or CD and mail them,” said Ben Nunez, Birdbox Inc.’s co-founder and chief executive. “The problem is that there’s no easy way for us to collaborate on photo albums without having to change the way we do things,” he added, referring to the preference of posting to one social media over another.

“Right now I’m using Birdbox with my own family,” he said. His family members are representative of the general market, he said, each having a favorite site for general posting.

How to make photos and videos show up on Birdbox is simple. The family agrees on a hashtag title and clicks on the media they’ve posted, which adds it to the family’s nest.

“It’s a one-time, five-minute process to connect services to a Birdbox account,” Nunez said. “We support about a dozen services now using the 80/20 rule, seeing where most content is being shared to pick which ones we support.”

And if you’re an early adopter of some less popular sites, Birdbox is open to suggestions.

“We’re asking users to let us know of other services they’d like to connect to, and we’ll research them, too.”

Birdbox, a TechStars Boulder 2012 class member, currently markets to three groups: families, vacation buddies and businesses.

“Brands like Chipotle, Nike and certain TV shows try to get conversations going via videos and photos to aggregate content and embed it into their blogs or websites,” Nunez said. “This is a simple way to engage with users.”

It was a version of this business use that gave Nunez the original idea to create Birdbox. In a previous job, he helped develop software for large media companies to be able to aggregate their photos and videos and distribute them to sites such as Hulu and Netflix.

“This version is much more for the masses.”

At launch time, the cost for using Birdbox will be zero. For companies that want to do more than have their media show up, there will be a yet-to-be determined cost to add services such as analytics.

“After we launch the free service, we’ll start experimenting with pricing models and find out what people will pay for,” Nunez said.

The company started out with about $1 million from investors. “The seed round will provide a runway to launch the product and get traction,” Nunez said. “We anticipate getting more money next year.”

Including co-founder and chief technology officer Kevin Cawley as well as Nunez, Birdbox runs with eight team members.

“We’re going to launch the beta in a few weeks and turn around in the January/February timeframe for a full-line launch,” Nunez said. “We’re a vibrant company now. Both Kevin and I have built and sold five startups and have been in the startup world for 15 years each.”

He describes revenue projections as a work in progress.

“We haven’t launched, so we don’t have any numbers, yet. We’re taking one step at a time, listening to customers and making decisions as we go along — based on what people want.”

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