The solution for producing content and connecting photographers with businesses
In the space of a few years, Meero has developed a unique offering on the photography market. The French startup offers, among other things, a platform that connects businesses with photographers for photoshoots all over the world. Meero currently boasts a network of 60,000 photographers in more than 100 countries.
The story of Meero begins in France in the real estate field, offering photoshoots to estate agents to illustrate their advertisements for the sale or rental of properties. “At that time, there was no solution to organise, industrialise and homogenise photo rendering. We identified that estate agents had a need for media production and this was one of the first markets we tackled and the one that was the easiest to standardise,” says Joyd Sousa, Chief Technical Officer with Meero since 2016. “We started to process the entire shoot so that we could standardise the rendering, using Meero’s post-production software.”
Meero has gradually moved into a market where the need for images is significant and recurring. The start-up is mainly aimed at a BtoB market, as the main customers are companies with significant and recurring image needs.
“Little by little the market has evolved from small estate agents to large marketplace groups like AirBnB, Deliveroo or JustEat. These companies have already achieved a certain maturity in the field of photography and they need to industrialise this activity by integrating standardisation in their shoots,” Joyd Sousa continues.
Indeed, while the photographers handle the shoots, everything else is managed entirely by Meero. This is what differentiates this singular French company from its competitors: “our main added value is the standardisation of the end product. The manager of the technical teams explains. As Meero handles post-production, using algorithms that we have developed for image reprocessing or with our dedicated teams to retouch some photos, it allows Meero to offer uniform rendering. We allow our customers to maintain a graphic consistency that serves the deployment of a brand image”.
Finding the right photographer close to the shooting location
For Meero, part of the complexity lies in building a network of photographers on a global scale with a very local dimension. “You have to have the right photographer with the right skills for a particular photoshoot who is close to the chosen location,” Joyd Sousa continues.
To meet this challenge, Meero has been using Google Maps Platform from the very start of the application. “We started to develop all of our tools with Google Maps. We needed a solution that works anywhere in the world. We noticed that there were limitations with competitors in some remote parts of the world, so we chose Google Maps,” justifies Meero’s CTO. 4 years later the platform uses no less than 7 APIs to manage its business!
"We have started to develop all of our tools with Google Maps. We need a solution that works anywhere in the world."
—Joyd Sousa, Chief Technical Officer at Meero
Anticipating photographers’ travel costs
When asked about the role of Google Maps, Joyd Sousa replies “there has always been a map in the application. How important is the map? It’s like asking Uber to remove the map from their application. Operationally, the map is central, it integrates filters, it allows you to do route calculations. During the order process, being able to enter the exact address to show the customer the exact location of the shoot and allow them to correct if it doesn’t match, it’s a real plus.”
Integrating the route planner into the application has allowed Meero to better anticipate the travel costs associated with finding a photographer: “Distance Matrix API has saved us time and streamlined the cost of photographers’ expenses by selecting the closest ones.” Meero’s CTO continues: “at the very beginning the calculation of mileage costs was done by hand (sic), so it was very long and tedious. The day we implemented the automatic generation of invoices, it changed the life of the operational teams, the sales people, the compatibility teams.”
Meero started its journey with Google Maps without any support. It wasn’t until 2018 that the technical teams contacted Google who recommended Web Geo Services, as at that time it wasn’t possible to purchase a licence online. “The partnership began with an analysis of Meero’s needs,” explains Joyd Sousa, “and we followed the recommendations of the WGS teams. Meero has now entered a stabilisation phase, which gives us the opportunity to think about how we have integrated the APIs. We naturally turn to our partner to take advantage of their expertise to study our implementation.”
Meero continues to grow with the launch of new services for its community of photographers, such as activity and content management via its MyMeero platform.