There is that time where you meet up with a startup that looks like Twitter. We obviously don’t mean it from a product point of view, but from an entrepreneurial perspective. From a company called Roundwaves, Rormix was born. Four young co-founders are trying to achieve what no one has ever tried before by “discovering emerging music videos”.
We sat in the Crown and Anchor in Manchester, where we met the four co-founders behind Rormix and their first employee. Running a company is not easy and getting the first bit of money is a huge deal; that’s why Roundwaves is supporting the first and new business in the early weeks. The company is based in Innospace, where the main operations are taken and also in Techhub.
The main development of the product is assigned to a single and extremely talented developer, who has been able to distribute the app both on Android and iOS in less than a month. What firstly impressed me most was the passion that these guys have for the product they are building and that’s what matters most. With different backgrounds and all coming from previous startups/jobs, they seem to have the right experience not to fail.
Rormix is about letting people discover emerging artists, the service is totally free for anyone who wants to download it. Based on your Facebook likes and your favourite music, Rormix shows a stream of emerging artists you may like. Their main aim is to highlight everyone who has created a piece of music that struggles to promote its art. At the moment, artists can list the music they own for free, just by contacting the team.
In the near future, they are planning to generate revenues by charging £10 a month per artist. On the customer side, for “the listeners” the app will be forever free. That’s where I see the game changing feature, which won’t affect costumers, but would encourage artists to include their music on the platform for a small amount of money.
The app was entirely designed with the phone gap framework, which let the team easily export it on both platforms. After less than a month, Rormix has got downloads from more than 100 countries, with a rough estimate of 2,000 people. When I asked them why they didn’t focus on iOS first, as every big player has always done, they replied to me saying that they want to reach people who love music. The operating system you use doesn’t make who you are.
Although the database is still small, the minimum viable product is out there ready to be used and probably to get the first investment the company needs. It seemed to me that these folks were fans of what Eric Ries wrote in his book, the lean startup. That’s the model they are using at first to ship as much as possible. In the future, they will probably opt for something more stable, with two native apps for both Android and iOS.
What they need to do now, following the lean process, is to iterate thanks to the feedback they get. The more people they reach, the more advices will get and that’s how probably Rormix V 2.0 will be built. Furthermore, they need to contact and get more artists in the database to give to the costumer the “never ending” music experience, they are looking for.
For now, the videos you will find in the app have been hosted on youtube in these channels:
However, as soon as they get the product right, they will have to use their own hosting system in order to build a more efficient platform that depends on them and not youtube. What I see after this shift is even a desktop version that can be easily monetized through ads.