Filma: The Video Editing App Created By A Solopreneur
Today’s Startup Founder of the Day is Miguel Lorenzo, Founder of Filma
Originally from a little town in Spain, Miguel Lorenzo moved to Sydney, Australia in 2016. He’s always been a very creative person, with music being his first creative outlet. He has been a keyboard player and vocalist in a band (while also being the manager of the band) since he was 11 years old with his brother on the drums. He would create his own music as well as the soundtracks for the songs they would perform live.
He also picked up video editing at a young age, using software like Sony Vegas to make his very first effects and videos to be published on YouTube.
For his education, Miguel decided to take the Computer Science path because he saw it as another way to express his creativity. As soon as he finished his degree, he specialized in iOS and started making and shipping his very first apps.
These apps were all about video or photo editing, mixing his passions of video editing and computer science in one. He created an app called DonutSelfie, which sparked a video trend back in 2013. He also created VerticalFit, which allows you to fit your videos nicely for social media stories, and MovieVid, a mini video editor for social media stories, and around a dozen other apps. Creating these apps helped Miguel learn and grow in the field, especially with his professional experiences as a full-time software engineer.
Miguel wanted a way to speed up his YouTube channel’s video editing process on his iPad, but couldn’t find any decent apps to do so. None of the apps he looked at had the same depth of interface that desktop video editors did, which was what he needed. With his knowledge of video editing software and experience with programming, he considered making his own tool. In addition, he knew the pain points from existing products and how to best solve them as a customer himself. He realized this could be useful for others, so he worked hard during a summer holiday to create the minimum viable product of Filma in March 2019.
With the minimum viable product launched alongside analytic and feedback mechanisms, 2019 was the year Miguel listened to his very first customers’ demands. After integrating their feedback, Miguel launched Filma on Product Hunt in 2020, where it was awarded the 2nd “Product of the Day." This award helped Filma obtain new users and boosted awareness.
When COVID started and lockdowns were underway, it actually helped Miguel bunker down and keep polishing and building the best app that he could. His goal was to make an app so good that not even big competitors could compare. In hindsight, Miguel believes he didn’t pay as much attention to marketing as he should have because he was too focused on the actual product.
In 2021, Miguel expanded Filma to iPhone and Mac, becoming one of the first apps offering a multi-platform experience in the ecosystem by using the MacCatalyst technologies released by Apple.
One year later, to Miguel’s surprise, around 70% of Filma users were coming from Mac, and not the intended iPad. Filma hovers around 400 monthly recurring revenue and is still organically growing.
Filma’s Challenges and Goals
As was the case in 2020, Miguel’s main issue is still marketing. Since he is on limited funds and time, bootstrapping everything from day 1, he doesn’t have the resources to focus on marketing. In Miguel’s perspective, despite having a better product than most video editing apps on the app store, Filma isn’t performing as well as them because they employ underhanded marketing tactics such as aggressively promoting their premium features upon download while providing very little in their free versions.
Miguel recognizes that some of these apps were more focused on money making than video editing, but he won’t diverge from his initial vision of creating a complete video editor. It is proving difficult for him to compete with apps that spend more time on marketing in order to move from a humble, steady growth to a “rocket ship” level of growth.
Another obstacle Miguel is facing is finding good talent with his limited budget. He would like to find someone who can pilot an effective marketing strategy that will help boost growth.
On the flipside, Apple has reached out to Miguel to feature Filma on the App Store. He also has shared that some big companies were interested in Filma, but their offers weren’t attractive enough to take.
Miguel sees a bright financial future for Filma. He has put together a very positive financial projection out to 2027 based strictly and conservatively on analytics such as retention rate, growth rate, and churn rate. He has also been growing the team by outsourcing work in order to undergo brand redesign, rebuild the website, initiate community and social media outreach, and key customer onboarding refinements. Miguel is also looking to implement more languages for Filma outside of its current English and Spanish offerings. Outside of the technical and designs parts of the app, Filma has only been possible by outsourcing through platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.
Miguel lays out an abridged form of his short-term goals with Filma:
Increase awareness and traction → Get funding → Create a team → Target their specific customer segments and build a video editing community → Move towards Filma’s roadmap and expansion plan.
Filma is a “true video editing app” for everyone, everywhere, available on Mac and iPad. Filma has a variety of video editing features, such as motion tracking, templates, presets, advanced masking, keyframes, color adjustments, and more.
Filma has 3 key customer segments:
- Professionals/Knowledgeable video editors who want to streamline their process in an easy and affordable way. This includes small businesses, content creators, etc.
- Amateur video editors who need to make quick edits on the go. This includes people who want to edit birthday videos, a holiday collage, apply a quick filter, etc.
- Content Creators who want to build templates and presets to enable their creativity.
How You Can Help
Advice to Fellow Founders
"Patience. I’ve been working on Filma since 2019 and never gave up but I have had so many downs (slow growth, so much work on the side, etc.) as well as ups (when you validate and get amazing feedback).
Filma is now a very solid video editing app that is helping many on their daily basis editing (as we have gathered from emails, feedback, etc.). When you get the feedback from your customers everything makes sense and you feel even better.
It’s okay to fail (I did 13 apps before Filma with no major impact), at least you’ve put yourself out of the comfort zone, learning so much and being even more ready for the next round. Enjoy the journey more than the goal."
-Miguel Lorenzo, Founder of Filma
Congrats to Miguel, our Founder of the Day!
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