We spoke to Olga at Lobster about how they picked a new office space through Hubble three times (and counting) due to their fast-paced growth and location requirements for customer meetings.
Lobster is a platform which enables brands, agencies and the media to licence visual content directly from social media users. Using pioneering AI technology, it trawls through all the main social networks, along with several of the largest cloud storage providers and returns billions of affordable images and videos in an instant.
To learn more, visit Lobster.
Can you tell me a bit more about Lobster? What is it that you do and what is your vision for the company?
Olga: Lobster is a marketplace for social media content. We launched at TechCrunch in December 2014 to connect photographers on social media platforms with those that want to buy stock photos. We want to help make finding local content that shows diversity a simple process.
Our vision is to build a global platform that solves the problem of social media piracy by connecting content creators with businesses that want to use that content. With Lobster, content creators sign up and consent to sell their online content across 10 different platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and VK.
At the moment, businesses can use hashtags, titles, comments and geolocation for finding the images they need. We’re currently working on developing an AI that can filter by colour palate, people, gender, age, emotion, and so on. We’re also enabling machine-learning based quality ranking that helps determine content quality in a scattered social media space.
Lobster helps businesses by providing them with an alternative option to traditional stock image sites, saving time on manually chasing people to get photo usage permission. We also want to benefit content creators who can earn money from their content and be encouraged to create more quality pieces.
This is the third time you’ve booked space through Hubble. What do you like about the Hubble experience?
Olga: We subleased our last two offices from Hubble but our space began to feel isolated, so we used Hubble to search for another space. We were looking for a private office in a coworking space where there was a community feel. When Rocketspace opened, we visited, they gave us a good deal, and we made our decision to take the space.
We like the way Hubble works in that it’s all an automated search with area, price range, and desk number filters, making it easy to find exactly what you are looking for. We also love the fact that viewings can be booked online. During our office search, we spent hours looking at a variety of platforms but we couldn’t find anything as useful.
How are you and your team liking working at Rocketspace?
Olga: We really like the vibe of Rocketspace. Our space is not hectic and distracting like some coworking spaces can be and houses a great community of tech entrepreneurs – it’s nice to have like-minded people to talk to. We also like that Rocketspace originates from the US, so we have lots of connections that match our expansion strategy.
Why did you choose to set up in Angel? What drew you to this neighbourhood?
Olga: We work with creative agencies, who are located around Soho and Central London, so it made sense to move our team to this area. We considered relocating to Shoreditch due to the high volume of tech startups there, but it wasn’t quite the right location for us and it would be a bit too far to meet with our clients.
We chose Angel because the area is up-and-coming, not too hectic and close to our clients. Plus, we love the space.
What’s next for Lobster?
Olga: We’re working on active growth in terms of awareness and number of customers. We are also working on raising a new round of investment.
We have people on the ground in the US, mainly New York and Los Angeles so we would like to expand more over there. We’re also looking at expanding in Latin America because we think they have a limited selection of local faces when it comes to imagery.
And, we’re working on developing our AI and automating work in photo and video to provide more value for our customers.
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