Paul Yang is a man of many talents.
An avowed passionate musician, he has acquired a license and even considered becoming a commercial pilot.
However, his goal was to become a cameraman. The filmmaker owned a video company and made commercials early in his career.
As a creator, he has always been interested in exploring the many ways that emerging technology and art can come together, which led him to create the Lomotif app.
"I wanted to create a platform that would give artists tools to create good quality video while improving their skills and helping them monetize their talent," said Paul.
When he studied communication and new media at the National University of Singapore, he also took up game design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
“My great interest and experience in creating videos and designing games led me to become a product designer. In addition to designing the Lomotif app, I wrote the code and also created the logo, ”he added.
An app that can keep up with TikTok?
Lomotif App / Photo credit: FixThePhoto
Lomotif was founded in 2014 to capitalize on the growing demand for online content, which has become increasingly popular with Gen Z and Millennials.
"Lomotif is a short format video sharing platform on social networks that aims to democratize the creation and sharing of video," said Paul Yang, founder and CEO of Lomotif.
"It allows users to create, share and watch short music videos with friends and has patented video mixing and editing technology."
In essence, developers can create, schedule, and create videos with a single app.
When asked if it is correct to label Lomotif as a TikTok rival, Paul matter-of-factly said that they are technically competitors as they both function and operate in the same industry.
"But there is no dispute with the brand," he emphasized. "The industry is big enough that we can all coexist."
Regardless, he is proud that Lomotif has been recognized as "a strong rival of TikTok and Kuaishou in many international markets".
What is special about Lomotif that sets it apart from other video editing and sharing apps?
Lomotif's greatest strength lies in its developer tools and technologies. Creators of all colors – from nano-creators to top celebrities – have used Lomotif to share their unique stories in interesting and diverse ways.
We have been fortunate that our features and tools have been so highly valued, which has resulted in organic growth and greater reach without spending any money on customer acquisition.
– Paul Yang, Founder and CEO of Lomotif
According to Paul, celebrities like Alicia Keys, Luh Kel and Sheff G have used Lomotif as a platform to organically connect and engage with their fans.
“Music labels like Empire and Cinematic have welcomed the reactions of their artists on our platform. Our remix feature, our atomic clip strategy and our deep connection to the communities we are in make us stand out, ”he added.
Recently, Lomotif teamed up with LiveXLive to stream the annual Global Music Festival – Music Lives 2021, which features a wide variety of live performances from global icons such as Pitbull, John Mayer, Wiz Khalifa and the Zac Brown Band.
The partnership marked the first time a concert or event of this magnitude had been broadcast live to the audience in a vertical video format.
“Given the ease with which it is easy to naturally capture and view video in vertical format on a mobile device without the extra steps of rotating, etc., we believe vertical will be tomorrow's video format and are optimizing our tools to improve it for a seamless user experience, ”said Paul.
Couch surfing in San Francisco for 2.5 years
The first Lomotif prototype was developed together with a few others in the BLOCK71 technology start-up ecosystem in Singapore.
The team later decided to take the idea overseas to San Francisco – what was originally supposed to be a month-long trip turned into 2.5 years instead.
Couch surfing in San Francisco / Photo credit: Paul Yang
I've surfed the couch in San Francisco for over two years, speaking directly to users and personally tweaking the product to make it better for them, while looking for investors who were more receptive to bold and innovative ideas like ours. Without the many risks we took, Lomotif would not be where it is today.
– Paul Yang, Founder and CEO of Lomotif
In 2016, Lomotif became the first local startup outside of Stanford to join StartX, an accelerator backed by Stanford University. They competed with students like Harvard, Stanford, and MIT, forcing them to "raise the bar" in order to be successful.
Paul declined to comment on the funding numbers, but said Lomotif had seen an increase in global user traction and reach.
"In the past three years, Lomotif has become one of the fastest growing social networking platforms for video sharing," said Paul.
“Since we launched, we've increased our average monthly community by over 400 percent. As a milestone, we've seen over 10 billion atomic clips (user-generated content) creating over 740 million videos on the platform. "
The platform has also had more than 120 million lifetime creators and more than 300 million video views on the platform per month.
Lomotif team in San Francisco / Photo credit: Paul Yang
While many companies have suffered from Covid-19, the pandemic has given Lomotif a silver lining, with the short video formats industry growing at an unprecedented pace.
"In a video-first world that was initially only cherished by Gen Z, it is now being adopted by more people across generations and cultures," noted Paul.
Despite his successes, Paul admitted that building a social media company in a market like Singapore, where new media technologies and trends have been slower to adopt, compared to markets like Brazil or China is challenging.
Lomotif was recently sold for $ 125 million
Lomotif and Zash / Photo credit: Lomotif
The global media and entertainment company ZASH recently announced the acquisition of an 80 percent majority stake in Lomotif.
ZASH co-founders include Ted Farnsworth, financier and former chairman of MoviePass; formerly Musical.ly (now TikTok) investor Jaeson Ma; and early trill visionary and board member Vincent Butta.
It is reported that they will pay about $ 125 million for the stake, which is one of the biggest exits by a local tech startup in recent years.
However, Paul remains up to date on the financial details as the acquisition process and legal requirements are still ongoing.
The Lomotif deal coincides with the completion of ZASH's merger with NASDAQ-listed Vinco Ventures, a merger and acquisition company focused on digital commerce and consumer brands.
When asked about changes after the acquisition, Paul said there won't be any major changes in terms of work processes.
I will continue to lead Lomotif, but now the acquisition opens up more international markets for us to expand into.
This acquisition also helps us invest in promotional activities – something that will be new to the brand as our growth has been largely driven by word of mouth among our user community.
– Paul Yang, Founder and CEO of Lomotif
With the acquisition of ZASH, they are the only short video platform listed on NASDAQ: BBIG, which means that North America is becoming an important growth area for them.
According to Paul, Lomotif is already well represented in Brazil, the West African region and Russia.
He also intends to expand Lomotif in Latin America, South America and Europe as he sees great potential in consumer-oriented short video format in these regions.
With Lomotif's strong following in Asia, Lomotif will continue to strengthen its presence here, with a focus on India, followed by Indonesia.
For the next phase of expansion, Lomotif is working to give developers the ability to distribute and monetize their original content via streaming channels with revenue sharing options.
Lomotif was always a "work in progress" from the start, said Paul.
“The only mission that remains consistent is our support for our creators. We first provided them with patented creator tools to create content in seconds and expanded them to give them the ability to showcase their creations and connect with fellow creators. "
Selected image source: Lomotif / Alamy Stock Photo