Jeff Fluhr, co-founder of online ticket marketplace StubHub, made his way onto campus last week for a showcasing of his newest tech-venture known as Flurry, a live-streaming community where users connect, broadcast and talk with friends (or other available users in the app) using face to face interaction through a video tool. It also includes interactive polls, keyboard stickers and animated virtual gifts that users are able to purchase within the app. The app, which for the time being is only available on iPhone devices, has already made the App Store’s ‘New Apps We Love’ category.,
Fluhr brings the app to USF for its debut on college campuses with members of the Flurry Live team setting up a booth on Gleeson Plaza with food and gifts in hopes of attracting students who could give feedback for the fast-growing live-streaming app, which has found an audience with teenagers following their favorite social media stars. Touting themselves as the app “that allows you to interact with your favorite talent,” Flurry has managed to get rising social-media celebrities such as Mike Andrew, Heaven Leigh and Cal Turner to choose Flurry’s video platform in order to directly chat with their fans.
Fluhr said the purpose of the visit to USF comes as he and his team look to expand the product’s audience by receiving feedback from a demographic of college students who are already high on the idea of video and its capabilities. With so many other popular video streaming apps on the market such as Periscope, Streamup and Livestream, it might be difficult to see where Flurry fits on a larger scale; but Fluhr argues that what sets Flurry apart is its capability of bringing face to face interaction back into popularity.
“Over the last 10 years, I noticed that with Facebook and Twitter and smartphones, people are spending a lot of time to stay connected,” said Fluhr in a story for Fortune Magazine. “But there’s something missing with the way we’re communicating now with all this text-based, asynchronous communication,” he continued. “I wanted to bring back face-to-face interaction to the conversation, so I started Spreecast.”
Spreecast being Flurry’s predecessor, was able to accumulate a total of $11 million in capital from two rounds of fundraising when it first launched back in 2011. Spreecast could be used to create interactive, social online video broadcasts. “Up to 4 people at a time can be face-to-face, streaming their conversation live while hundreds of others can watch, chat and participate by submitting comments and questions to those on-screen,” reads a description from TechCrunch, a website reporting on tech industry news.
Fluhr decided to rebrand, closed shop on Spreecast in July, and pivoted towards more one-on-one interactions with Flurry Live, launching the app this past March.
As for USF, Fluhr said he hopes to come back with an updated app that will best tend to the needs of students looking to stay connected with family and friends back home, or as a way to form new groups of friends, especially when faced with the task of branching out, networking and finding that core support group on-campus in the first year of a collegiate career.
Fluhr is looking to repeat the success he had with ticket resale giant StubHub, which he founded alongside Eric Baker while they both attended Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. From inception, Fluhr lead the company as it grew from $50 million in revenue in 2005 to $100 million in revenue in 2006. The following year, Fluhr sold StubHub to eBay for $310 million. Today, StubHub acts as the biggest ticket marketplace online, providing tickets to over 10 million events per month, with 16 million unique visitors looking for tickets landing on their website.
Photo Courtesy of Jeff Fluhr