From Getty to Keepy: Building a Successful New Startup After Being Acquired

Getty Images acquired his startup PicScout in 2011. Now Offir Gutelzon is pushing forward with his family focused app Keepy. Gutelzon founded Keepy in 2013 as an app for parents to save their kids’ artwork, schoolwork and mementos. It is built as a multi-generational platform that connects grandparents, parents, and children. It has risen in popularity because it helps reduce the clutter of children’s artwork and also increases communication between family members.

Identifying a need that’s close to home

Gutelzon moved from Israel to New York City to work at Getty Images for almost 2 years. Being far from his family was a big change, as he was used to seeing them at least every other week. Suddenly he was in a place like New York where many others were also away from their families. This gave him the idea to create an app that would help improve communication within his family.

Social media sometimes isn’t that social

When you share content related to your kids on social media, the response is entirely focused on you. Interaction from close family is usually not being received at all by the kids. Keepy has defined a new way for kids to describe their moment in video and for the family to provide video responses. Showing this sort of context adds a lot of value to a photo, which nowadays is often lost in one’s smartphone camera roll.

A straightforward product and business model

Keepy utilizes a freemium subscription model. Individuals can use the app for free with a cap of five photos per month, otherwise they can pay monthly or yearly for unlimited photos. Families are also able to purchase photobooks directly from the platform. The ease of use and simplicity is quite alluring for its users. It is especially important to consider that grandparents are not as technology challenged as many think. Apps often ignore this segment, but many grandparents are effectively using (and enjoying) their app. The low cost of the app in addition to its ability to produce intergenerational appeal has allowed it to spread to a variety of families.

Never underestimate word of mouth

It is hard to tell how helpful their social media efforts have been, though Keepy’s corporate pages now have about six thousand Facebook likes and Twitter followers. The service is being used by over 200,000 families totalling 800,000 children, parents, and grandparents. Gutelzon mentioned that most of this growth has been organic and he attributes these numbers to word of mouth. They help incentivize this by offering a “tell a friend” program. This entitles users to $10 off the Keepy store for each referral. They also allow easy sharing of memories on major social media channels. Another major development was getting the app preloaded on the Samsung Galaxy S6. Coordinating with the launch of this new device, Keepy was able to sit alongside apps like Amazon and Skype.

Looking forward, Gutelzon is excited to be attending Rootstech, a genealogy conference in Salt Lake City. He is also interested in developing relationships with media companies as well as popular venues. Keepy can grow through partnerships with places like museums and theme parks, where parents and kids are making memories. They are looking to stick around and create a web of engaging memories for generations to come. We look forward to seeing them continue to succeed and grow.