Jumpshare founder Ghaus Iftikhar
Jumpshare founder Ghaus Iftikhar

As the pandemic pushed remote work from the niches of a handful of hipster organisations to the mainstream corporate culture, the adoption of collaboration tools shot up since colleagues now needed to interact from the comfort of their homes. Zoom, Teams, Hangouts and countless other apps quickly made their way to our devices. Part of that fraternity was a startup that had been in the business of providing online communication portal for a few years and was keen to cash in on the newfound opportunity.

Let me introduce Jumpshare, a tech company based out of Palo Alto, California and Islamabad, offering a visual communication platform that combines screen recording, screenshot capture, and file sharing — all in one app. Go to their website, download and install the desktop application, sign up and get going. It will appear as a small kangaroo towards the right of the taskbar in Windows and top right in Mac’s menu bar and you can simply drag and drop files to that icon. Once uploaded, you can email it to anyone or share it as a link. A mobile version is available for Apple users.

The tool lets you record videos, say for a quick explainer or a product demo, along with a screen capture. It also sends a notification whenever someone views the (via email) shared file and you have the option to auto-destruct them after a certain period. There is a dashboard as well to dig deeper into the analytics and finally, you can create a team on the app in order to collaborate with colleagues.

“I was a student of Bachelor’s in Computer Science at Bahria University, Karachi and after two semesters took a gap year to start my own startup AddictiveTips, a tech blog which expanded to a team of 21 writers at its peak. This made conveying the right information to them difficult, therefore slowing down the productivity,” recalls founder Ghaus Iftikhar. What he needed was a faster way to communicate, something the visual mode achieved more effectively than, say, writing a long paragraph.

And so came Jumpshare. “I started it in 2012, and in the beginning the tool was about visual file sharing, making sure everything that is shared can be previewed online, an option not available back then,” the founder adds.

By 2015, they expanded the product to include screen recording and capture to allow for demos, presentations or pointing out issues like bugs etc visually.

Over the eight-year journey, the company has amassed a base of more than a million users. However, despite reaching a significant scale, it is among that rare breed of tech startups to have never taken the funding route.

“I made enough money from my first startup, AddictiveTips, and invested in Jumpshare myself without seeking outside investors. We became profitable after a few years so there was no need to raise outside funding. It’s also a positive because it gives me the freedom and flexibility to expand and build more products without constraints often put by financiers,” explains Iftikhar.

Jumpshare works on a freemium model, offering certain basic features (such as 2GB storage) at no cost, while charging a monthly subscription fee — starting from $8.25 for plus package and goes up to $12.5 per user for the business plan — for upgrades like unlimited screen recording or team library.

When speaking of file sharing, a number of tools come to mind, including the giants like Dropbox, WeTransfer and Box who, over the past decade, helped popularise the cloud-based content sharing. Screen recording has its own players, led by the well-funded (over $73m) Loom and then there is another niche of screenshot capture, which is manned by names like Gyazo, Skitch and Lightshot.

Then the question is the usual: what is Jumpshare’s competitive advantage? “Ours is a three-in-one tool: file sharing, screen recording and screenshot capture. “Users prefer us because instead of paying for all these services and juggling between them, they can use our app and get everything done for an affordable price,” the CEO says.

As one would expect from a collaboration app, Jumpshare’s primary market is the US, Canada, and Europe - basically the advanced countries with a high degree of tech adoption. But within that too, there is a specific segment they particularly enjoy popularity in: the creative industry which includes graphics designers, video agencies, film and design studios etc and accounts for over 60 per cent of the client base. The tides are turning though, in part thanks to the shift in remote work triggered by the coronavirus. As a result, they are increasingly seeing companies from various sectors, like software, real estate, hardware, universities, hospitals, etc also joining the portal.

To give a sense of the overall opportunity size in numbers, estimates suggest the visual communication market to hit $10 billion in the next 5-10 years — a pie big enough that even getting its mere crumbs would make any company fairly lucrative.

The writer is member of staff:

m.mutaherkhan@gmail.com

Twitter: @MutaherKhan

Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2020