Imatag is the platform launched by Lamark, a Rennes startup specializing in watermarking and content tracking. Next month, the team will fly to the United States for a business marathon from the East to the West Coast. Ten days, divided between New York and Los Angeles, to discover the American market and suss out its future among our neighbours across the Atlantic. Its bags are packed with the invisible, unbreakable tattoo designed to identify online photographs and ultimately restore value to images.
The French American Creative Lab, a made-to-measure program
It’s thanks to the French American Creative Lab that Imatag has joined the team of startups selected for this great voyage. In a few words, this “creative lab” is a program for startups in the cultural and creative industries, organized by the cultural services of the French Embassy in New York and Business France. Its aim is to provide the participants with new resources and increased entrepreneurial opportunities on American territory.
As the call for applications to the Creative Lab was public, Imatag simply filed an application, which included a presentation video, that was submitted to a jury. And the startup’s reverse search engine hit the mark: with Imatag, professionals have access not only to storage space, but also to the ability to mark their photos and discover the origin of photos uploaded by other people.
Imatag is currently in the middle of a training and administrative preparation phase with the embassies: the startup is learning the very real differences between the French and American markets. Mathieu Desoubeaux (CEO) and Thierry Secretan (CSO) will also meet with their equivalents from the other startups before departing.
They will then head straight for the States, with a goal described by Christine Deschaseaux, Imatag’s Marketing Director: “To reproduce our success at fairs such as Visa pour l’Image on a large scale and seek out the American equivalent of the industry player who supported us during our fundraising. We will present Imatag’s “search engine” component to our 3 targets – a photographer, an agency and a publisher – who each have their own expectations, and also provide an overall idea of the platform”.
From Perpignan to New York
Before setting off for the United States, Imatag travelled across France to participate in the Visa pour l’Image photojournalism fair in Perpignan. Whereas last year the startup had to pull out all the pedagogical stops to properly present the technical aspects of its solution, in 2017 the service was received with enthusiasm. Professionals, directly affected by photo theft, easily understood the utility of a tool able to trace their images. In parallel, the service is currently being tested by a major French press agency.
The startup’s competitors include household names such as Google Images, but existing services are based on similarities between individual pixels in a photograph, while the startup looks at the metadata. Imatag can therefore call on some serious advantages to ensure that its stint in the USA is a success and bring back a (tattooed) album of its productive trip. We look forward to seeing the slideshow!