Petach Tikva firm RotaryView 370.
(photo credit: RotaryView)
Microsoft’s increasing involvement in Israeli hi-tech has given a boost to many
local start-ups, including Petach Tikva firm RotaryView – which revealed its
plans for a 3D photography platform for e-commerce to The Jerusalem Post
RotaryView has been shortlisted to participate in Microsoft’s
first-ever incubator program for early-stage start-ups, which will take place at
the US multinational’s Israel Research & Development Center in Herzliya
Pituach. This follows its acceptance last week into Microsoft’s BizSpark Plus
program, which gives it two years’ access to open cloud computing platform
Windows Azure in a package worth roughly $60,000.
Founders and serial
entrepreneurs Gev Rotem, Gal Rotem and Ofir Shefer are developing products which
they believe will strengthen e-commerce – an industry JP Morgan estimates will
be worth $963 billion a year by 2013 – for both online vendors and
They released their first product in March: a platform which
allows even the smallest businesses to present a 360-degree view of their
product, by simply photographing the subject from all angles and uploading.
Large companies have been employing 360° vision of their products for quite some
time, but until now the product has been expensive and time-consuming as it
requires knowledge of code.
Next on RotaryView’s agenda is
three-dimensional photography, which it has been working on since securing a US
patent in 2011. The company believes the time is ripe for this innovation, with
more 3D-capable computers, tablets and smartphones being launched onto the
market all the time.
“We believe every company that shows its products in
2D will move to 360° or 3D very soon, in order to let the customer view their
product from all angles,” CEO Gev Rotem told the Post.
Citing a 2010
Adobe survey which found that 91 percent of online shoppers prefer seeing a
product in 360°, Rotem said it was no longer sufficient for companies to prevent
their customers from being able to fully see and learn about a product. He added
that providing 360° or 3D views would help reduce return rates significantly,
particularly in the United States where customers take advantage of relaxed
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RotaryView’s founders are in many ways typical of young
Israeli entrepreneurs. Gev Rotem made a successful exit from his
diamond-purchasing company in November, while Gal Rotem and Shefer are owners of
animation studio Visual3D. Their latest project was entirely self-funded, until
Microsoft stepped in.
Gev and Gal Rotem’s fathers – who are brothers –
instilled the spirit of entrepreneurship in their children from a young age. In
1985, a decade before the introduction of the Palm Pilot, they invented a device
combining a calendar and a phone book.
“They were a little bit ahead of
their time,” Gev Rotem admits, but he said their experience taught him and his
cousin to seize a good opportunity when it presents itself.
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