Tapastreet, Interview with Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson is an ex-Googler. In 2012, with ex-Intel engineer Joe Mitchell, he co-founded Tapastreet,  a location-based photo and video discovery platform for mobile devices, which raised €500k in seed funding last week (read here).

Dave accepted to answered our questions about himself, the product, the company, the funding and future plans.

FinSMEs: Hi Dave, can you tell us something about you?

Dave: Hi. I’m the Co-Founder and COO of Tapastreet Ltd, a Dublin based start-up. I’ve been working in the communications industry for the last 15 years, both in Ireland and the US, with groups like BT, Comcast and more recently with Google here in Dublin heading up one of their European advertising divisions.

FinSMEs: What’s Tapastreet?
Dave: Tapastreet is a photo and video discovery platform that enables users to see and share what is currently happening at any location worldwide by accessing real-time media uploaded to popular social networks, available now for free on iPhone, iPad and Android.

FinSMEs: How does it work?
Dave: It’s pretty straightforward actually, a user types in a location they are interested in, or selects their current location, and Tapastreet displays on a map or a timeline all the photos and videos that have been recently uploaded from that location to a range of social networks, including Twitter, Instagram and Flickr. It gives an amazing snapshot of any location, and is a great second screen application for following breaking news stories, sports events, and more. Tapastreet also finds media by subject, using the hashtags and labels associated with uploaded media, so a user could find the latest photos of their favourite celebrity uploaded by users anywhere in the world!

FinSMEs: What’s the business model?
Dave: At the moment the consumer app is free, and will continue to be. We will be introducing an Enterprise version of the product later in the year with a wider range of features, and that will be license-based. For now though we want to focus on building out the best possible consumer product and growing a strong and active user base.

FinSMEs: The team. Who is behind Tapastreet?
Dave: We’re a small team, Joseph Mitchell our CEO is an ex-Intel engineer who was part of the team that set up their first two chip fabrication plants in Ireland, and our CMO is Kathryn Tunney, a broadcast journalist with many years experience in travel sector. Our development team is mix of Irish and French developers and designers, and we’re all based in Dublin’s city centre.

FinSMEs: You have just closed a funding from well known investors. What can you tell me? Are they helpful? how are you using the funds?
Dave: We are delighted to be working with Kernel Capital who mange the Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund, and Enterprise Ireland. Beyond the funding, it is the experience and advice, as well as the international networks that both groups have, that have been invaluable. Enterprise Ireland, for example, assisted us greatly with our launch in San Francisco. Finding the right partner, someone who can provide more than just funding alone, is essential for an early stage start-up. You need someone who will be your force multiplier.

FinSMEs: Future Plans?
Dave: We’re fans of the Lean Startup philosophy, so up to now we have concentrated on building the Minimum Viable Product. Now that we’ve launched it’s time to introduce a wider range of features and let the product grow with the needs of our user base. It’s a very exciting time here at TapaHQ!



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