If you’re a startup, or any company, looking to have a 3d product rendered than Romanian startup Renderstreet may be just what you’re looking for. This is the latest startup for Romanian startup serial entrepreneur Sorin Vinatoru who was also behind the Romanian startup Pagepeeker, that we profiled back in August.
RenderStreet is an easy and affordable render farm for 3D projects. The startup is also priding itself on great customer support so when you turn to RenderStreet for a project, they will hold your hand through the development.
Vinatoru has already had some success raising money for RenderStreet. He’s looking to announce a seed round in the coming weeks.
3D rendering requires immense amounts of computing power that isn’t often available to just anyone. That’s where render farms like RenderStreet come in handy.
We got a chance to talk with Vinatoru about RenderStreet. Check out the interview below.
What is RenderStreet?
RenderStreet is a render farm. That’s a site that takes 3D models and renders them in the final images or videos that you can see on a screen. RenderStreet was built with 3 goals in mind:
– to be easy of use. We have a very intuitive user interface with practically zero learning curve
– to be fast and affordable. We render on top of the line servers and have affordable prices
– to have very good customer support by 3D professionals. So it’s easy to understand the customers and fix their problems
In layman’s terms, how does it work? (In other words how would you explain it to your grandmother)
Creating a 3D animation (or still image) starts with a sketch from a graphic artist. Then the sketch is entered in a 3D modelling software by a 3D artist and we get a wireframe view of the model. At the very end, applying a lot of computing power, the final 3D animation comes to life through a process called rendering. For example, one second of the transformers movie can take 3 years to render on a home computer (http://michaelbay.com/2009/06/17/transformers-revenge-of-the-fallen-fun-facts/ )
Because rendering requires so much computing power, for larger projects rendering is required on more than a single machine. For those who don’t have access to a lot of powerful computers, render farms such as RenderStreet present a good choice to speed up their rendering time.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
The CEO (Marius Iatan) and CTO (Sorin Vinatoru) and been working together for the past 12 years on 3 different companies. They started their first startup in 2001 and had a successful exit in 2007.
Marius Iatan has also server as SVP, CTO to a larger company for a few years
Sorin Vinatoru has also been CTO in a larger company and also let the European operation for it.
The 3rd partner is Oana Vinatoru, an established 3D artist, with 15 years of experience and good connections in the 3D community. She is also a blogger, writing on 3D modelling techniques.
Where are you based?
We are based din Bucharest, Romania (Eastern Europe), but are planning to open offices in other countries as the business expands
What’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?
The startup scene is quickly developing here, with co working spaces available and some startup related contests and conferences being held annually. We also have a few accelerators and angels who can help startups move quickly.
How did you come up with the idea for RenderStreet?
The idea started from identifying the need first hand. Oana had the need to render one of her larger projects some time ago and I looked with her in the current offerings in the market. And tried them all. Unfortunately, none of them was usable. They were either slower than our home computers, or extremely expensive, or plain and simple unusable. We knew we can do better, so we set to work on our own render farm. That’s how RenderStreet got born.
How did you come up with the name?
We spent a lot of time trying to create a name that explains immediately what the business does. RenderStreet immediately stuck to us and we fell in love with it.
What problem does RenderStreet solve?
The main problem for our customers is that their 3D projects take too much time to render on the computers they have access to. For projects larger than hobby work, rendering on a farm solves this problem by allowing the customers to take advantage of the hundreds of servers available in the farm.
What’s your secret sauce?
Our technology allow customers to easily upload their projects, define their jobs and render them on the web, all from a simple, web based interface. We have also developed our own proprietary technology that allows us to scale renderings on any number of computers, from one to several hundreds.
Are you bootstrapped or funded?
We are currently bootstrapped, but are actively looking for a seed investment round.
What is your goto market strategy?
We are currently focusing on customer acquisition via social interaction. This means getting involved with the community and getting people to try our service. We know from the initial feedback we had in the closed beta testing that they like our solution and it’s superior to the other solutions in the market.
What’s one challenge you’ve overcome in the startup process?
We initially thought that the process of automating the distribution of the rendering to multiple servers will be a straight forward process. It turn out to be quite difficult to achieve, with multiple obstacles along the way, including the rapid release pace of the open source modelling software we support at launch.
Who are some of your mentors and business role models?
We are big fans of the Lean Startup and Minimum Viable Product concepts, so we are following closely the writings of Eric Ries and Steven Blank.
What’s next for RenderStreet?
We are currently in a closed beta stage. We plan to launch the open beta in January next year and go live quickly after that. By the end of 2013, we will add support for another 3D modelling software and continue hiring to support our customer base.