BizSpark Startup of the Day—Phlook

Today’s featured Startup of the Day is Phlook—a Singapore-based photo sharing web startup! Pronounced 'fluke.' Phlook just joined BizSpark and seem to be on the fast track!

Congrats and good luck to the team.

Interview with Justine Ho, Co-founder of Phlook

Who are you?

We are Phlook – Singapore-based photo sharing web startup! Pronounced ‘fluke’

How do you feel being the most promising 'company of the day' per Microsoft?

t is definitely a great privilege! And being a representative all the way from Singapore, we felt honored and thrilled to have received such attention from Microsoft.

What did you do before creating your company?

Phlook was started by me, Justine Ho -> Justine and my business partner, Wee Kiat. Both of us were previously employed by Siemens, and that was where we got to know each other.

How did you get the idea? What’s the genesis?

We did not start out creating a photo sharing website. Instead we were intending to work on online photo printing because this is one service that we thought has yet to reach its full potential in Singapore. However shortly after we started working on it, Snapfish announced their entrance to Singapore market and many other printing services began to slash prices. That brought about a shift in our focus from “printing” to “sharing”, especially when we were already in the process of building a basic photo sharing platform then.

What do you sell? What is your company's mission?

Phlook aims to be not just a website for users to share photo within Phlook’s pages. We aim to bring interaction and photo sharing experiences right onto our users’ blogs, websites and their social networking spaces.

We serve users photos through embeddable photo interfaces that can reside on users’ sites. Through these interfaces, users can view photos, interact with other users by leaving notes on the photos, sharing even multiple albums all at once, and viewing photos at their original sizes etc. If a user feels like a great photographer, he/she can also choose to sell his/her photos via the interface. And all these activities can be performed not just on Phlook but also right on the users’ sites.

What is your market?

Currently our targeted market will be users who actively share photos on their own blogs, websites or social networking spaces.

Growth? Internationalization?

We are currently promoting our services and growing our community in Singapore, although we do have users from countries like United States, Italy, Malaysia and China etc. In the near future, we hope to reach out to more countries in Asia.

Any clients, references or partners you want to quote?

Currently no ... not YET!

Funding history? VCs? BA?

Phlook is funded by Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore via Thymos Capital, a private incubator under one of MDA's funding schemes.

How many employees do you have? How many developers?

Currently we have two employess – Wee Kiat and me! The two of us work on EVERYTHING!

Are you hiring? If yes, what? Where?

We do not have plans for hiring yet.

Which platform are you building on? Why?

We are building on .Net and Flash.

Do you have any Software IP? Is there something that you’re the only one to do on the market?

We do not have Software IPs. However we suspect that we may be the only ones, or one of the few companies out there who are doing photo sharing ON USERS’ WEBSITE!

Who’s your role model?

Definitely Bill Gates & Steve Ballmer.

Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet areas?

We see internet as a very powerful media that is influencing and reaching out to the masses in an astonishingly efficient and viral manner. In addition to that, we think collaboration and interactivity is already and will be even bigger on the internet in near future.

Looking for funding? If yes, how much?

Yes, we are hoping for more funds. However we have not come out with the exact amount we need yet. Any investors out there who would be interested to talk to us?

What about the BizSpark Program? What do you think?

We think BizSpark can potentially provide the technical support and a lot of cost savings to start ups … we have already joined BizSparks, and we are typing this document via MS Office downloaded from MS for free!

Any advice to young software entrepreneurs?

Do not be afraid to realize your dreams.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Phlook brings photo sharing to your website – UPLOAD YOUR PHOTOS NOW!