AppSumo Case Study Series: TeliportMe Virtual Tours
Welcome back to the AppSumo Case Study Series, where we highlight noteworthy partners that embody successful collaboration and growth. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at their AppSumo launch, learn tips from the folks who have already been there, and find out how they handled reaching a new global audience.
Today we’re talking with Vineet Devaiah, founder and CEO of TeliportMe. TeliportMe Virtual Tours lets you create and host interactive 360° virtual tours with high-resolution content delivery.
TeliportMe is a unique story because it started on our very own Marketplace, building up credibility and popularity before being chosen to become a Select deal.
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Let’s start with the history of TeliportMe. What’s your origin story?
…it’s definitely been a long journey with a lot of ups and downs.
So, the company started back in 2011. Initially, we were doing virtual tours as a way to fund our other ideas. After a while, we had the thought: why don’t we build a software product to do virtual tours?
This was back in the day when there was no real virtual tour product on the market. We began the journey with the building app that would let people capture and share panoramas. That was called Beat 360. We launched it on the app stores and that really took off. So we went down that journey of building and trying to build properly. And we’re still the largest 360° community, where people can capture and share panoramas all around the world. And I think it’s a really nice thing to have.
The next most obvious step was to build a product for businesses that do the same thing that we were doing for consumers. That’s the genesis of the Virtual Tours product that we launched on AppSumo.
So, it’s definitely been a long journey with a lot of ups and downs.
What challenges has TeliportMe faced in the past year? How did you handle them?
…we decided to launch a tweaked version of our small business product that was focused on real estate and related business models.
And that brought us to the AppSumo Marketplace.
Oh man, this year has been a rollercoaster. We were a very profitable, slow-growth startup. You know, basically we’re a small business. Before the pandemic, most of our revenue was coming from travelers who were using our app to capture their journey. After the pandemic, our main revenue source became nonexistent.
So even before the stock market crashed, we already saw our numbers fall. And we were like, why is this happening? I remember calling a friend who has a very successful company in the restaurant business. And I told him that our revenue went from 40k a month to 4k a month. And he was really surprised, because he wasn’t seeing anything like that in his industry yet. Then two weeks later, he called me back and he was like, Sh*t! Because restaurants got hit a lot too.
So it’s been a really challenging year. Thankfully because of the nature of our product, virtual tours for real estate became a very in-demand product. We had stayed away from that market because real estate agents are generally very cheap customers. (And we didn’t want to spend our time talking to real estate agents.) We had tried it and decided this isn’t what we wanted to spend our lives doing. And so we moved away from that market.
But during the pandemic, that market suddenly became really hot. So we decided to launch a tweaked version of our small business product that was focused on real estate and related business models.
And that brought us to the AppSumo Marketplace.
The Marketplace is relatively new to AppSumo, but you were a highly coveted tool right out the gate. Why do you think that you were so successful? Why do you think Sumolings loved your deal and made you a bestseller?
I’ve known Noah for a long time. We worked in the same office back in 2012. And so I’ve known of AppSumo for a long time as well. I just used to buy products, but I was never in the ecosystem of the LTDs. And when we got into Marketplace, I got tagged by a friend who was very active in the space, encouraging me to post in one of the Facebook groups about it.
And so I started marketing TeliportMe. And then when people saw our product, which I’d say is one of the top three virtual tour products available anywhere, that’s where most of our momentum came from: it’s a good product, a mature company, and a very good-looking founder.
But seriously, I think the way Marketplace works is, you have to market the deal. So I think I did a lot of that to get the buzz out. And then just because of the rate of work that we had done before and the quality of the product, I think that’s what sold it.
You were the first tool to go from the Marketplace to a Select Deal. While being on the Marketplace means you’re responsible for the marketing, Select Deals have the support of the AppSumo team, who come in and create a campaign. What was that transition like, from being on the Marketplace to becoming a Select Deal?
You know, we were doing quite well on the Marketplace. We had a lot of other stuff that we were working on, so we really didn’t want to become a Select Deal that quickly. We got an email from the AppSumo team and then I basically said, “You know what? I can’t really do it right now. Let’s talk in February.”
But you know, Genevieve on the BD team is very persuasive. And she convinced me that Black Friday is the best time to launch a product on AppSumo. Because she believed in it so much, I decided to go along with her recommendations. She really helped in that transition. I think a lot of our success goes to her handling the process so smoothly.
Let’s talk numbers. In Marketplace, y’all were a top seller and now you’ve been a Select deal for a little while. How are the two campaigns comparing?
Working with AppSumo has been great. The team handling our campaign has been so helpful.
There’s much more exposure as a Select Deal. And being in the store on Black Friday also really helped get the word out about our product. It was like double the traffic. We are very happy with the Select Deal campaign.
We didn’t have a goal to make the most money with the Select Deal campaign. We weren’t trying to do that. We hit our crucial numbers and that’s what mattered. And you know, everybody who’s purchased our product loves it. Nearly all of our reviews are five-stars. It makes me really happy to know that the product is so well-received. Working with AppSumo has been great. The team handling our campaign has been so helpful.
What have you learned through this process about your tool? How do you think this launch is going to shape the direction of your roadmap of what comes next?
…that’s just the way it is in software. You’re not launching, you’re just constantly pushing updates. It’s how we build software.
Because we’re a relatively old product and an old company, we have been in the trenches for a while. We’ve actually never really launched something before. I was reading the AppSumo Case Study on WP Reset and Gordan Orlic said the same thing—that he had never really launched before. And that’s just the way it is in software. You’re not launching, you’re just constantly pushing updates. It’s how we build software.
So, this idea of launching something has really given us a refresher. We’re launching something, something new. We’re not just fixing a bug. So even if it looks the same, it’s different. Mentally, we’re thinking about it differently. And it feels great to say, we launched on AppSumo.
The customers have been amazing. The people who bought our deal have been nothing but supportive. Our deal isn’t an unlimited deal, but it is a deal where you can earn big. And a lot of people appreciate that. A lot of them have started making money with TeliportMe. We even had one customer stack 100 codes!
Of all our partners, you’re definitely in the running for having the greatest amount of experience when it comes to each arm of AppSumo. What advice would you give businesses looking to launch on Marketplace? Does that advice differ from the advice you’d give those launching as a Select Deal?
Building partnerships is part of the journey and I think of working with AppSumo as a partnership.
The advice I would give people launching on AppSumo, whether it’s Marketplace or Select, is to work with the AppSumo team as much as possible. I know that some people think that it’s not worth it to work with AppSumo, because you have to share the revenue with them. But that kind of attitude isn’t going to help you build a good business or a good product. Building partnerships is part of the journey and I think of working with AppSumo as a partnership. So that’s how I approached working with the AppSumo team.
AppSumo is a lead generation tool, a market penetration tool. Working with AppSumo has been part of our business strategy. But it’s not our only strategy. So if you’re working with AppSumo, you have to have a perspective on how this partnership is going to improve your business. Once you’re done with whichever kind of campaign you’re working on, it’s your job to educate your customers and continue to grow that base.
We take educating our customers really seriously. Since launching, I’ve talked to about 270 customers on a 45-minute call. That’s like 3,000 minutes of educating people about the deal. And because many of these customers are entrepreneurs, they’re looking for something to do and experiment and make money.
And so, you have to educate AppSumo customers, because they’re naturally optimistic. It’s important that they understand how the product works and what they should expect from it.
Last question: Since your deal is still live right now, tell us why people should buy TeliportMe!
TeliportMe is a very niche product. It’s not something that every team can use, but for the people that can use it, you can make a lot of money off it. We’ve designed this deal in such a way that your upfront cost is so little compared to the ROIC that you can make. And we’re seeing a lot of people make a ton of money once they’ve discovered how to sell and how to position themselves as a 360 photographer. It’s down to $79 right now, LTD. Really a no-brainer.
That’s a wrap from TeliportMe!
We’re so glad we got to chat with Vineet and hear about how launching with AppSumo has helped the TeliportMe team pave new ground in their business strategy.
Interested in trying TeliportMe for yourself? Click here to get lifetime access to TeliportMe for $79 while it’s still in our store!
Got more questions for Vineet? Let us know in the comments below!