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Techcrunch Interviews: Timelooper takes You Back in Time

If you’re look­ing for a vir­tu­al real­i­ty media job and you are a his­to­ry buff then Timeloop­er could be the place for you.

Trav­el back 750 years of more using this new mobile app from Timeloop­er.  Timeloop­er is a loca­tion based vir­tu­al real­i­ty mobile appli­ca­tion cre­at­ed to pro­vide more dimen­sions to your trav­el.  In the UK expe­ri­ence the Ger­man bombers from World War 2 or wit­ness the great fire of London.

Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty tech­nol­o­gy seems to be devel­op­ing faster than the pro­gram­ming for it.  Timeloop­er makes deals with loca­tions and venues to bring their sto­ries to life.    The mon­e­ti­za­tion is obvi­ous.  You’ve got to pay to play but the pos­si­bil­i­ties are endless.

While the Timeloop­er folks are look­ing for­ward to putting togeth­er part­ner­ships with the great his­toric land­marks from around the world, I see the oppor­tu­ni­ty to be much larg­er.  Imag­ing going to a loca­tion in New York, Los Ange­les or any­where and being able to expe­ri­ence the the great fire of Lon­don or the colonists land­ing at Bat­tery Park in New York.

Cur­rent­ly avail­able at some loca­tions in Lon­don, Timeloop­er is expect­ed to open in New York in 2016.

I was able to talk with Alper Ozyurtlu, the Chief Cre­ative Offi­cer for Timeloop­er recent­ly and he told me all about the business.


Roy: Hi, this is Roy Weiss­man from We’re talk­ing with Alper Ozyurtlu, the Chief Cre­ative Offi­cer for Timeloop­er. What is Timeloop­er and how did you come up with this idea?


Alper: Timeloop­er is a loca­tion-based vir­tu­al real­i­ty appli­ca­tion and plat­form. We cre­ate a vir­tu­al real­i­ty con­tent for impor­tant his­tor­i­cal places. We recre­ate the most mem­o­rable moments of these places in the his­to­ry. If you’re in the Trafal­gar Square, you can watch our blitz video. Ger­man bombers in the blitz in the World War 2. You can just wit­ness the great fire of Lon­don in 1666 in St. Paul’s Cathedral.


Roy: Wait a sec­ond, so if I go to St. Paul’s Cathe­dral today and I’m stand­ing there. All of a sud­den it’s going to go on fire?


Alper: Yes, but it’s not in a bad way. You will just wit­ness how was it and you will see peo­ple just try­ing to extin­guish their homes. You will see real­ly good his­tor­i­cal research. You will real­ly expe­ri­ence how it was to be in that par­tic­u­lar moment.


Roy: If I go to the col­i­se­um, I might get involved with a battle?


Alper: Yeah, I think so.


Roy: Will I be safe?


Alper: Yes, extreme­ly.


Roy: Now, what tech­nol­o­gy do you use to dis­play your program?


Alper: Basi­cal­ly, we are a mobile app. You will be using your mobile phone. Prefer­ably, with a card­board, which makes it a more immer­sive expe­ri­ence. Of course, it’s not a must. You just down­load our app. All the videos are geo-locked, so you have to be there in order to watch the video. We’re beta launched in Lon­don 6 months ago. Now, we’re prepar­ing to launch in new cities. Also, we’re mak­ing this plat­form more of an ecosys­tem. We’re gath­er­ing post-pro­duc­tion and pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies with his­tor­i­cal sites togeth­er to use this as a plat­form. If Ellis Island wants to make some kind of video pro­duc­tions in vir­tu­al real­i­ty, we can pro­vide our own pro­duc­tion, or we can just get them togeth­er with pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies so they can work on their own busi­ness mod­el like paid pack­ages or rev­enue shar­ing. It depends on both parties.


Roy: In essence, you’re cre­at­ing a pro­duc­tion for each spe­cif­ic loca­tion. Lon­don is your first city. So exam­ple of what areas of Lon­don, if I went, would I be able to see this?


Alper: If you will be in Trafal­gar Square, you can wit­ness the Ger­man bombers bomb­ing the Lon­don in Blitz. In St. Paul’s cathe­dral, you can see all these Tudo­ri­an build­ings burn­ing in 1666 great fire of Lon­don. In tow­er of Lon­don, you can wit­ness medieval times in 1255. In Tow­er Bridge, you can wit­ness the great fire of Lon­don in a crow’s nest of a ship.


Roy: Do peo­ple have to pay for this? What is your rev­enue model?


Alper: Basi­cal­ly, we use dif­fer­ent mod­els depend­ing on the sites and the places. For exam­ple, all of our Lon­don videos are free now, but the Tow­er Bridge video, you have to be in the muse­um to watch it because it’s geo-locked by the loca­tion and the height of the bridge. You have to get in the muse­um in order to watch this par­tic­u­lar video.


Roy: Are you get­ting a per­cent­age of the door on this?


Alper: It real­ly depends on the par­ties, as I said. If they want, we can cre­ate a movie. We can sell it and we can make a rev­enue shar­ing. Or, they can give us or any oth­er pro­duc­tion com­pa­ny in our net­work. They can pay and get the video. If they want, they can give it free or make it a paid package.


Roy: Do you envi­sion using this oth­er than loca­tions? Do you envi­sion using this tech­nol­o­gy for any oth­er applications?


Alper: We made some part­ner­ship with CNN late­ly for their new series, 80s. We cre­at­ed 3 videos with them. John Lennon after his death. One is chal­lenger dis­as­ter, and one is fall of Berlin Wall. This is anoth­er appli­ca­tion area of the videos we create.


Roy: For CNN, how would I see that? Would I see it on your app or on CNN?


Alper: It was a cor­po­ra­tion. You can watch the videos both on our app and CNN’s own app or their website.


Roy: Do you envi­sion more of these partnerships?


Alper: Yes, exact­ly. For exam­ple, we are prepar­ing to make a part­ner­ship with Google Expe­di­tions. Our con­tent depends on very accu­rate his­tor­i­cal research so it can be used as edu­ca­tion mate­r­i­al also.


Roy: You could see your­self in the edu­ca­tion­al mar­ket too?


Alper: I guess so, yeah.


Roy: He says that carefully.


Alper: I guess so, yeah.


Roy: When was this busi­ness founded?


Alper: Com­pa­ny? Basi­cal­ly, we were work­ing on these vir­tu­al real­i­ty tech­nolo­gies and devel­op­ments and visu­al effects tech­niques for a long time. Late­ly, it’s been 8 months or some­thing. I don’t remember.


Roy: There’s 4 founders?


Alper: 3 founders.


Roy: 3 founders. What are the names and what are the roles?


Alper: Our CEO is Yig­it Yig­iter. He’s our CEO. He came up with this bril­liant idea. This was his dream. We did­n’t came up with what’s to do in vir­tu­al real­i­ty. He’s my long-term friend from my high school. This was his dream. He’s a very inter­est­ing guy. He’s a trav­el­er. Why you always just see the ruins? Why can’t we just see the his­to­ry? He came up with the idea. I am just the chief cre­ative offi­cer. I help him to build his dream. Also, we have a chief oper­at­ing offi­cer, Andrew Fein­berg. He is Yig­it’s friend from Har­vard Busi­ness School. I think we formed a very good team and doing very well for now.


Roy: Where are you guys based?


Alper: We are based in New York. Here.


Roy: In New York? Are you orig­i­nal­ly from New York?


Alper: Me? No. We have one part­ner orig­i­nal­ly from New York.


Roy: Your next expan­sion, is that going to be in the US or oth­er places?


Alper: Basi­cal­ly, we are on bat­tle­field and we will be pre­sent­ing tomor­row on stage. I want to keep it for tomorrow.


Roy: Have you raised mon­ey so far?


Alper: We closed seed fund­ing. Yes.


Roy: You’re look­ing to raise more money?


Alper: For now, no.


Roy: No? You’re just look­ing to get popular?


Alper: Yes, we want to get well-known and we want published.


Roy: Do you have more part­ner­ships on the fire you can talk about?


Alper: Part­ner­ships? I think not yet. Of course, there are a lot of part­ner­ship deals going on, but there are no one that I can talk now.


Roy: How would you define the mar­ket for your prod­uct? Obvi­ous­ly, it’s not trav­el per say, because you’re not sell­ing hotel rooms. How would you define the mar­ket, how big do you think the mar­ket is?


Alper: Basi­cal­ly, mar­ket is sol­vent. The mar­ket is real big. If you take top 100 sites in the world, which are vis­it­ed every year, it’s vis­it­ed by 1 bil­lion peo­ple. Just 100 sites. The mar­ket is inter­est­ing because when you cre­ate con­tent, it’s ever­green. Every year these 1 bil­lion peo­ple and every new peo­ple com­ing here will be wit­ness­ing this moment, it will be so new to them. It’s an expand­ing mar­ket because trav­el­ers every year are expand­ing still. If you just cov­er 100 spots in the world, you will be cov­er­ing 1 bil­lion travelers.


Roy: Do you envi­sion that this will always be locked at the loca­tion? Or will I be able to see it at home?


Alper: It real­ly depends on the site. If it’s gat­ed or pub­lic, site has to decide itself. For exam­ple, we had some open con­tent for Lon­don just to use for a trail­er. Oth­er ones will be geo-locked, we don’t want to spoil tourism. We want to help sup­port the tourism industry.


Roy: Right now, is the app on Android and iOS.


Alper: Both Android and iOS.


Roy: Is there a cost to down­load that app and use it?


Alper: No, all our videos are free now.


Roy: All your videos are free. Is your even­tu­al plan to be charg­ing the con­sumer or charg­ing the venue?


Alper: It real­ly is, as I said, we are tran­si­tion­ing to becom­ing a plat­form. This will not be our call. This will be all the sites call to do it freely or paid packages.


Roy: How many peo­ple are at your com­pa­ny now?


Alper: It depends because we have 3 cofounders. We have some employ­ees. Since we are mak­ing big pro­duc­tions, inter­na­tion­al pro­duc­tions, in every pro­duc­tion, it depends on the pro­duc­tion. We have big pro­duc­tion teams, post-pro­duc­tion teams. We have an in house VFX team, which also sup­ports all our part­ners with our knowl­edge and learnings.


Roy: Full-time employ­ees are how many?


Alper: Full-time employ­ees. 3 full-time employ­ees and 3 co-founders.


Roy: Are you look­ing to hire more employees?


Alper: Yeah.


Roy: What kind of people?


Alper: Both city and com­mu­ni­ty man­agers and pro­duc­tion spe­cial­ists and visu­al effects and VR specialists.


Roy: The city man­agers are going out to get more busi­ness, more venues and things?


Alper: Yes, exact­ly.


Roy: That sounds great. Is there any­thing you want to add, Alper, about Timeloop­er that I haven’t asked? The secret sauce? Why you’re going to be the next bil­lion dol­lar company?


Alper: I think what makes us dif­fer­ent in the vir­tu­al real­i­ty ecosys­tem … we did not come up with “Let’s do some­thing with vir­tu­al real­i­ty.” I think that we as Timeloop­er just fill a gap in tourism. That’s what makes us different.


Roy: That sounds great. That sounds very excit­ing. The next time I go to the col­i­se­um, I have to bring my hel­met so I can be prepared.


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