Lumyer is a photo and video enhancement app that allows users to augment reality by adding video and audio effects to both selfies or videos. Lumyer's success landed it on the #2 spot on Google Play's "Top Trending Apps of 2016," announced in December.
The team has an impressive mobile pedigree. Mortillaro, 47, is a three-time entrepreneur in the mobile space. Besides Lumyer, he developed two other companies: UMG, an e commerce platform for cellular network operators, and OneBip, which is a mobile payment solution. Co-founders Francesco Scrufari, CTO and Simone Offredo, CPO, are based in Italy, where engineering costs are 25% of what they are in the Bay Area where Mortillaro is based. Prior to Lumyer, they were co-founders of Ulixe in 2001 and Visionborne, Inc. in 2012. Rounding out the founding team is Raffaele Rinaldi also a Visionborne, Inc. alumni, who is based in Los Angeles.
Digeo Mortillaro, Co-Founder and CEO of Lumyer.
The other surprise for Lumyer was where their users are located (and this is why you've probably never heard of them): 40% are in Asia; 30% in South America; 20% are in the US, and 10% Europe. "As soon as we saw what was going on," Mortllaro said in an interview last week, "we pivoted to follow our users". There are now ten foreign language versions of Lumyer, including Russian, Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German.
The success of Lumyer is even more extraordinary considering their team of 9 is tiny, distributed in three cities, and they've raised around a million dollars in convertible notes, which in the start up world is very lean. Their programming team is in Italy, where costs are 30% of the Bay Area. Lumyer is now within striking distance of breaking even, and are preparing to raise a more robust Series A round of financing to expand. Mortillaro says Lumyer is going to spend most of the money on product and content development. "Content is the priority," he said in an interview last Friday, "making a Lumy is an entertainment experience and people want to share the fun with their friends,. As a result, millions of people are making Lumys every month." Lumyer currently offers 150 special effects, which can be layered on top of each other. 20% of Lumyer's content requires an additional fee.