17:39 | 11.01.23 | Articles | exclusive 14532

Armenian Essemem.com will try to compete with Canva and Adobe

Essemem provides an online tool that allows you to save time and create social media posts in simple steps without requiring any designer skills.

The co-founder of essemem.com and former CTO of Renderforest, Edgar Marukyan, who established the new startup with his friend, shared the goals and peculiarities of essemem.com with iTel.am.

The Idea and Establishment of essemem.com

Since the beginning of 2022, my friend and I were thinking about a variety of projects to work on. There were different ideas, we decided to provide software services to foreign companies, but then we realized that it was not what we would like to do. Finally, we started our own startup. We organized a training course in programming at the Vanadzor Technological Center, which was attended by 25 trainees, some of whom are working with us now.

The team members were novices from the beginning. We still don't have a lot of resources to attract experienced professionals, but learning together, we created the essemem.com website and the platform.

I started creating websites since 2000, and in recent years, while working at Renderforest, I have gained experience in working with Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses.

Edgar Marukyan Edgar Marukyan
photo © Mediamax

The logic is as follows. people don't have to do the editing, meaning we take the burden of editing on ourselves. Our product is intended for small businesses that do not have a team of designers, but want to create beautiful and presentable ads and publish them on social media. This is why we will always try to keep the website as simple as possible so that an infinite number of people can use it.

Functions and Features

We have now launched our first prototype. Users can upload photos, for example, a photo of a product and enter an accompanying text, either description or a message, after which the system automatically selects templates of the right size and shape and offers ready-made options.

In other systems, you have to select the template from the beginning, then upload the photo and edit, add or remove elements. The result can be fine or not and the process is time-consuming. If you don't like what you got, you have to start the same process again.

photo © Mediamax

Soon, along with increasing the number of templates, we will also add categories with different themes, which will help to filter the results more easily. Initially, we were offering templates prepared by our designers, but now we are creating a completely automated system to be able to make the design diverse and unique. In other words, by enriching the system with different design elements it will automatically generate designs without human involvement.

Initially, we will receive more than 100,000 templates with different themes. After that, we want to apply artificial intelligence algorithms to get an infinite number of templates, as well as templates that will already take into account the context by analyzing the content, text, colors, mood of the photo, and taking advantage of additional layers, will generate a new and more personalized design.

At the moment, the platform is providing the service for free, we are in the testing phase, and we are trying to develop the system based on people's feedback.

Target Market

Small businesses are the majority of all types of businesses in the world, so we are targeting the largest market. According to our calculations, at least 200 million people can be beneficiaries of our platform. There will be people who will use it for real business requirements and will need additional tools, and they will become our paid customers.

photo © Mediamax

We understand that we have chosen such a market where there are giants like Canva, PicsArt, Adobe, etc., but we have to be faster and more flexible than them. We particularly focused on people who have problems with SMM requirements.

The Team

We have a team of 12 people in Vanadzor and Yerevan. All developers in the team started as novices or as interns. Young people full of enthusiasm have joined us. We also have volunteers with extensive experience in the field.

photo © Mediamax

The work between the Vanadzor and Yerevan teams is organized remotely, we have daily calls to discuss our further steps. The work schedule is flexible, we pay attention to the results rather than the actual time spent in the office. Therefore, we can state that we work day and night.

Investments and Upcoming Plans

We took part in a program intended for startups having “Products in Idea Stage” implemented by the Ministry of High Tech Industry, and were awarded a grant of AMD 5 million. In the second phase, we participated in the acceleration program, “From Idea to Market”, where our staff attended training courses organized by the Ministry focusing on business education. Essemem has been qualified for the second grant of AMD 10 million and we are now expecting the funding.

Edgar Marukyan Edgar Marukyan
photo © Mediamax

We will spend the investment on expanding the team and spending on the marketing needs of Essemem itself. Meanwhile, we are still in the R&D stage.
We are simultaneously negotiating with venture capital funds and angel investors, making pitches, and receiving feedback from them too. Along with the development of the product, we will create investment rounds.
Nune Grigoryan