Framebench: A step further in multimedia collaboration

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In this series of start-up stories from IIM-A's CIIIE Boot Camp program- iAccelerator, we bring to you Framebench. Framebench, which was previously known as Anayalabs provides a multimedia solution which can be used by design studios. Co-founded by Rohit Agarwal and Vineet Markan, both young entrepreneurs fresh out of BITS Pilani, Framebench is a promising venture in an exciting space. We got in touch with Rohit to know more about FrameBench.There are several tools which allow people to do high quality work in almost all the sectors but across the cross-section, there is a lack of good quality collaborative tools. Multimedia collaboration is a great space to enter into right now. Tell us about your offering.

Absolutely! With the advent of Cloud computing the desktop has shifted to the web, but unfortunately collaboration hasn't caught up with it. An animation studio in Europe or a fashion studio in Milan outsourcing its work to different regions in the world, still has to take screen shots, email them and then talk over Skype to tell the designers to bring about the desired changes. These archaic methods are the main cause of delay in products being launched and cause redundancy along with posing serious flaws in data security which is a problem in this age of cut-throat competition, where deadlines just keep getting shorter.

We at Framebench have developed a multimedia collaboration tool allowing creative teams to work together and give quality feedback in real time directly on the said assets which could be anything from high resolution images, to affecting changes on a specific frame in a full HD video, to high quality 3D rendered images.

What is the story behind Framebench? How did it come about?

Both of us went through the Venture Creation program at BITS Pilani where the idea of Framebench (the name had to be changed from Anaya owing to trademark issues) was born. We were awarded a small seedfund from it which pumped confidence to do something with the idea we had. I must mention the tremendous help BITSAA gave us to come out with the idea for a multimedia collaboration platform for the animation, gaming industry in terms of contacts and mentoring. We developed the product inside of a major animation studio in Pune. The biggest thrust probably was winning the ET-Power of Ideas competition which pushed us to quit our campus jobs and start up right out of graduate college.

What technology have you used to develop Framebench? Give us a bit of an insight on the back-end.

Framebench is a pure HTML5 web application using some of the latest technologies in the backend. We rely heavily on web sockets and low latency mediastreaming to achieve near real time collaboration among browser clients. The server side is built to serve thousands of concurrent connections which would allow us to scale effortlessly as we draw traction. We're using the amazon web services for all our hosting needs.

What kind of capital was required to start up?

We were awarded a small seed funding, after being declared the best team in the Sparks New Ventures Program. Through our efforts we were able to convince a major animation studio to test out our product, who I am happy to say, went on to become our first customers, thus providing us with revenue to sustain ourselves for some more time. With this value bestowed onto us by our customer, we shifted into the fifth gear and stepped on the gas, going on to win the Economic Times and IIM-A's Power Of Ideas, bagging a grant, gaining recognition and vital insights in the process, which continually helped us improve the product.

How has the iAccelrator push been?

Coming straight out of college, we were confident about the technology side of Framebench but were always concerned for the business end; iAccelerator mentored us on the whole business end of Framebench. It was like Business 101 where they helped us get our facts and figures straight; helping us charting out a business strategy, formulating a goto market strategy and getting a sales and revenue model. They helped us pave a path for making a business out of a startup. Also the feedback and inputs we got on the product through interactions with all the other awesome startups, industry experts and some really cool people in the entrepreneurship sphere who visited us during the program, really helped us mature the product.

What are your future plans?

We are an extremely progressive company, after initially having built the product for animation and gaming studios, We now understand we have a bigger market with the world moving on to Tablets, Clouds and HTML5, our current product will enable not only businesses such as publishing houses, comic book houses, marketing and advertising firms, film studios, architecture and engineering firms but also consumers such as freelancers, designers, software developers to collaborate and work on multimedia assets in real time. We hope that as the web moves on from being a text based entity to being a completely interactive experience with images and videos, any image and video that is customized will use our software.

Framebench is still in invite only mode and would soon go live after the the demo day at iAccelerator. 

- Jubin Mehta

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