It has all been a coincidence for Videoly co-founder Nora Huovila.
“I had been through a lot of job interviews looking for something new, but nothing really felt right,” she explains in the comfort of Videoly’s office in central Helsinki. “Then an old friend got in touch and asked me if I had yet found anything. He told me about this Sergey he had met who’s looking for someone ‘exactly like me’.”
The friend turned out to be spot on. Huovila, who had been working for a technology company in London, found that the most attractive opportunity came from an unknown Russian engineer with an exceptional fondness for Finland – and the job didn’t pay.
“I know it’s pretty crazy,” she admits laughingly. “But I believe in magic and guidance.”
Sergey Andryukhin, the aforementioned Russian, had founded Videoly in 2014. Huovila jumped on board a little later and was astonished.
“He had already sold the Videoly software to some big companies that were happy users, and he’s a guy with almost no sales skills,” Huovila says with a grin. “I realised the product must be pretty top notch!”
Spotting the predator – or the product
Videoly’s idea is to add videos to online shops without having to actually film them. This happens by harnessing and using pre-existing content, be it from the product’s manufacturers, consumers or bloggers and vloggers.
The Videoly tool finds the videos, and just by adding a couple of lines of code to the webstore, they will automatically appear on the site. In between, a pair of human eyes will have gone through the content to make sure it’s suitable and relevant. For example, videos including crushing reviews or advertising competing shops will be excluded.
And it works. Huovila says that one of their clients has said that Videoly pays itself back tenfold.
“We humans are visual beings,” she explains. “We’ve been programmed to pay attention to moving things ever since our ancestors had to be wary of predators in the bushes.”
Video is also the most efficient way to deliver the feel of a product without really touching it. Sounds and movement help arouse emotions, and that, Huovila notes, is what makes people buy.
There’s the convenience, too. Watching a two-minute video is oh so much less labour-intensive than going through a whole manual.
“Because a video stimulates various senses, it’s very resource-efficient for the brain.”
Hence Videoly works particularly well with products such as tools and consumer electronics. Seeing a photo of the product might not add much value, but a video is a great way to show off its features and demonstrate its capabilities.
Many routes to be taken
Videoly already boasts an impressive list of customers in Finland. Currently, the company is establishing a partnership network in the rest of the Nordic countries and the UK.
“This year our goal is to triple our turnover, and I believe that the majority of it will come from international markets,” Huovila predicts.
The partners are, for example, online store developers, who can use Videoly in their own service offering. Of course, video streaming sites like YouTube are an option, too.
As the existing content is in English, the focus is on English-speaking countries as well as countries where English is widely used and understood. In the future, the scope might broaden to also include other languages.
Whatever happens next, Huovila is confident that it’s going to be good.
“We’re not sure where the future will take us, but we already know it’ll be bright. We want to be the go-to video solution for everyone, globally.”