The proliferation of multi-channel online sites that allow users to fully customise and expand their viewing experience is already on the rise. Over the next few years, audiences will see a mass transition into the mobile space as devices get faster, alongside a projected rise in the film and TV industry, which is estimated to be worth close to $500 billion globally by 2018.
Part of this growing trend is Gyde, a startup that allows users to discover movies based on their mood or favourite genre. The startup was founded by Andrew Julian, Scott Julian and Darcy Laycock. It is all about content discovery for consumers in the world and beyond, on demand. Users browse the app – which has a very Tinder style interface – to select content choices. They can mark content as either ‘seeing’ or add it to their watch list, and it tells the user where the content they want to watch is available across various platforms like Netflix, Quickflix and other on demand services in Australia and overseas.
When it comes to Gyde’s research and development process, a lot of what the team have been doing is based around reinventing the user experience, its user interface and content.
“There’s a lot of things that we’ve tried,” says Julian. “There’s a lot of things that we’ve thrown out and we’ve taken a fairly scientific approach to that in terms of our hypothesis and how we go about building a solution against a hypothesis and then validating that with end users.”
Unlike a lot of startup founders, Julian and his partners are quite familiar with the R&D Tax Incentive. In fact, he has been taking advantage of the program for almost a decade now.
“Through various startup ventures we have found the R&D Tax Incentive to be a hugely impactful program,” says Julian. “Funding is always a challenge in Australia but also comes into play when making decisions around resource allocation. We’ve had a really real impact on maintaining employment in Australia because of comparative cost advantage. So beyond even Gyde, in previous ventures, it’s actually allowed companies we’ve founded to make a very solid argument even to US investors that maintaining development presence and R&D presence in Australia is a very sensible financial move compared to other options.”
It’s a little known fact but Effective Measure, one of Julian’s previous startups, raised $15 million from two Silicon Valley venture capitalists. What was unique about it – especially at the time – was that the business didn’t incorporate as a US incorporated company. It remained as an Australian proprietary limited enterprise and a big part of that was the justification around comparative cost advantage of resources in Australia due to the R&D Tax Incentive Program.
“It sharpens our focus knowing that there is an incentive in place and support for us to do innovative things that sometimes have hard to define outcomes,” says Julian. “It’s been a great for actually providing a focus and encouragement for working on problems specifically under the domain of knowledge. So I would suggest that it’s not only beneficial for startups to pursue the program, it’s also beneficial for businesses to know that there is support and justification and a genuine reason why you would invest further in research and development as opposed to do just continuing business as usual.”
This was the first year that Gyde used the Nifty Forms by PwC to process its R&D Tax Incentive.
“Even though we came into it thinking we’d gone through the process having done it for the last decade and that we would be well versed on what we needed to do, I was very very impressed with the Nifty process,” says Julian. “The guided approach to answering the requirements of the tax incentive in a structured way, and the real time commenting features that allowed Nifty Forms to make specific comments in context to information being provided I think is an incredibly smart model and I think they built a great product.”
“Admittedly, I was sceptical going into it, and the motivation for us was having the rebate passed and approved by PwC, which is also obviously a major plus. But I ended up being a massive champion of the process and the product they have built.”
This article is sponsored by PwC | Nifty Forms. You can check if your startup is eligible for the R&D Tax Incentive by clicking here.