When the new web protocol HTTP/2 was launched in 2015 the possibilities to use AI and Machine Learing in the protocol increased a lot. Two Ph.D. students in comuter science from Umeå university had an idea how to commercialize this.
– For all e-commerce the user experience is the key to success and one very important factor is the load time for the website. With HTTP/2 you can apply AI and machine learning to optimize the load time, Ludvig Bohlin, CEO of ShimmerCat and one of the founders, explains.
– With this opportunity arising it was natural for us to apply to Uminova Innovations Startup Program, Ludvig Bohlin continues.
Unclear business model initially
Fredrik Nyström, Business Developer at Uminova Innovation, started to work with ShimmerCat early and is clearly remembering their challenges.
– Initially they had no clear idea how they business model would look like. But they have been very dedicated in understanding where their application could have the biggest impact. And which customers and segments they should focus on. It means that they nowadys can be very specific in the target group for their solution, Fredrik Nyström says.
– Our core team have a background from both the academia and consultancy firms. But building a product and a startup was completely new for us. Take a disruptive idea into a real business is a challenge. And it is both a small and a big step to go from academia to a startup. For us it has been challenging to validate our solution on the market and build a company in a cost-effective way, Ludvig Bohlin explains.
Valuable business support
ShimmerCat have been using a lot of the tools that Uminova Innovation offer throughout the years in the incubator.
– The possibilities to participate in events and workshops have been very useful for us. Through them we have been able to validate our offering and benchmark our self to others. The big interest for our offering has given us a lot of energy in our work to develop the company further, Ludvig Bohlin points out.
ShimmerCat is pinpointing a problem that everyone within e-commerce and digital businesses are facing sooner or later
The support from the business developers is also very valuable.
– Fredrik Nyström is always willing to discuss all issues with us and we have all the time felt that Uminova Innovation is doing their best to support us. For example, without them it would have been impossible for us to participate in specific events and some investor meetings would not have happened, Ludvig Bohlin explains.
The importance of a great team
Having a great team is one of the keys for a successful startup. According to Fredrik Nyström, ShimmerCats team is one of the biggest strengths for them.
– Since their offering is a very complicated technical product it is crucial for them to have a team with a high competence. Many of the employees has a strong academic background in computer science and the team is located all around the world. You don’t have to sit in the same building or room as long as you are complementing and reinforces eachother, Fredrik Nyström says.
Ted Bergner, Business Consultant at Uminova Innovation, agrees.
– ShimmerCats core team has a high level of technical expertise but is also very skilled within strategy and sales, Ted Bergner explains.
ShimmerCat is now leaving the incubator and the future looks bright for them.
– Our goal is to continue with our growth as a product company and develop even better usen experiences to e-commerce customers. We have a couple of very exciting projects in the field of productimage handling and compression. As an example, Acne Studios is a customer where we are optimizing their product images to the smallest size possible without compromising on the quality of the image. The loadtime on the website can thus be decreased without any change in the user experience for the end customer, Ludvig Bohlin says.
Fredrik Nyström see a great potential in ShimmerCat
– Going global has been ShimmerCats goal already from the beginning and the development of the company have had a focus on that all the time. It means that the possibility to scale is big, Fredrik Nyström points out.
– ShimmerCat is pinpointing a problem that everyone within e-commerce and digital businesses are facing sooner or later. It means that their offering is really making a difference. The key is to find the right customers and partners, then the future is bright, Ted Bergner explains.
– In the end, excellent pictures is the single most important factor for all e-commerce. Our AI-services who can make pictures smaller without compromising on quality is a great benefit for all e-commerce and we are looking forward to be a important player on the growing e-commerce market, Ludvig Bohlin says.
Short facts about ShimmerCat AB
- ShimmerCat is developing a software that decreases load times for websites with help from HHTP/2 and machine learning.
- The company was founded in 2014 as the web consultancy firm ZunZun.
- Has 7 employees in 5 countries all over the worl
- The company is owned by the founders and external investors.