When it comes to interactive and responsive digital content and publishing tools, there’s one company in Amsterdam which is everyone’s favourite! Be it digital magazines, websites, presentations or proposals, Instant Magazine is creating waves in the digital marketing space with its versatile digital products and diverse customer base.
Founded in 2013 by Daan Reijnders and Joost Galama, the company has grown substantially and has well-known clients like Disney, PwC, KPMG, Philips, and more. Now, in the next phase of development, Instant Magazines has a lot of plans when it comes to scaling up in Europe, US, UK, and more and the scaleup also has plans to form new partnerships in order to expand their product offerings.
Today at Silicon Canals, we got an opportunity to have an exclusive conversation with the founders of the Dutch company, Daan Reijnders (CEO) and Joost Galama (CTO) shared all about the company’s future.
Silicon Canals (SC): Please brief us about how Instant Magazine started and what is the main objective of the platform?
Daan Reijnders: Initially, we debuted with operations by digitizing publications in 2008. However, after the launch of the iPad in 2011, the company wanted to create a fully digital magazine platform. It was in 2012 that we progressed with the use of HTML5. Initially we were a customer magazine platform and now, we are used for as many as 17 different use cases including customer magazines, annual reports, brochures, manuals and more. Eventually, we became much broader than just a mere digital magazine platform.
Further, we aim to develop Instant Magazine for better user experience and now we also have plans to scale up over the European and the US markets. We recently raised an investment of €4.6 million from Connected Capital and Newion for global expansion.
SC: Instant Magazine has been in the industry for 5 years now, what are the changes you’ve seen as an organisation in the marketplace? Also, what future trends can be expected in software SaaS offerings?
Joost Galama: In the past decade, a lot of changes have taken place in the industry. Mobile phones have definitely contributed to changes in the digital content consumption. What debuted in Flash has now moved to HTML5. And as the script is changing constantly, we want to combine different frameworks together.
SC: What are the key differentiators in your offerings when compared to the competition?
Daan Reijnders: Well, the biggest challenge we face is substitutes. There are a lot of substitutes for clients but our product is definitely better than the others in the market. And that’s because we have a linear flow in the content. Nowadays, people are spending a lot of time on their mobiles but less time on a channel. Notably, the average time spent on a channel is 8 seconds, which is really short as people are engaging less.
We hope to bring engaging content with full-screen articles. With engaging content and more relevancy on our platform, people spend 4.5 times more than they spend on an average blog or site.
SC: So, how many clients do you already have? And what’s the road ahead for Instant Magazine?
Daan Reijnders: We already have 1,200 to 1,250 clients right now and over 60,000 publications have been published. We are often used by larger companies that are progressing into an enterprise solution. We have received tremendous traction from large corporations such as Disney, PWC and more. We aim to serve the big companies that usually ask for a secure platform, advanced features, etc. by adapting to their requirements.
This year, we aim to start our operations in different countries. We hope to expand our presence in Germany and Spain in the next one and a half years. We are now focusing on Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia and Singapore markets. Further, we are also getting traction from India and Dubai. We do have a 24/7 support despite the challenge in the time difference.
Another big change is that we are going to rebrand before the end of 2018. We’re also launching a new website in August 2018. We are focusing more on organic traffic right now and aim to work more on videos. Further, we are also going to do more video case studies.
Currently, we have 54 employees right now of which 5 are in the US. Meanwhile, we are also in plans to rope in 25 to 30 more resources in the next year.
SC: What are the most significant challenges you face being the local leaders in the digital magazine space?
Daan Reijnders: When it comes to challenges, finding great resources is definitely the biggest issue right now. We have a great economical condition now but our colleagues are being attracted by other startups. The SaaS culture is not that mature yet and finding the balance between everything is a tough challenge.
Adding to that, Silicon Canals already covered recently that Instant Magazine announced integration with Bynder and the scaleup is planning another integration very soon with the leading CRM, marketing, sales, and customer service platform, HubSpot.
Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more updates in the tech startup world.