(photo credit: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)
Former Israeli comedian and prolific performer Lior Halfon has decided to turn away from acting to launch a startup company that aims to generate Internet buzz for online content providers.
As founder and CEO of the aptly named BeePost, Halfon has already succeeded in generating buzz for his platform both in Israel and abroad.
“Every morning I woke up with a dozen new ideas,” Halfon told The Jerusalem Post
on Tuesday. “Every few weeks my wife would open the newspaper and tell me about some company that made millions with an idea I previously told her about.
I wanted to get in on it as well, but I never could because I was busy with television shows, various performances, and theater, until now.”
Halfon broke out to comedic fame in Israel back in the 1990s with the sketch comedy show The Comedy Store. Since then he had also wrote, directed and produced three very commercially successful shows at Prague Black Lights Theater. Halfon is also the founder and former manager of the Israeli a cappella group “The Voca People.” In the past few years he became a household name with the high-rated sitcom Ramzor, where he played one of the three main characters.
Halfon eventually decided in 2015 to take a break from show business and shift his focus exclusively into one goal, which was to launch a start-up around one of his ideas.
But Halfon’s relationship with the startup world and his tech know-how, however, are not as recent as his dramatic career turn.
“I have been around start-ups for a few years now, helping voluntarily with presentations and creative affairs. At some point someone at Google’s accelerator in Israel asked me to join the team and volunteer as mentor for new start-ups’ creative departments, and I happily agreed,” Halfon told the Post.
Gradually Halfon took his knowledge of the innovative software ecosystem in Israel, his creative skills and one of his ideas and put them together into BeePost.
“To do something good you must focus on only that one thing,” he said. “So in a dramatic life-changing move I started turning down every single production offer I received. And after the success of my previous show Ramzor, I received quite a few good offers. When by 2016 my schedule was absolutely clean from performances, for the first time I took the dive and founded BeePost in May.”
Halfon founded BeePost last year with only five other employees, and has already raised an initial $2 million within the first two months of his start-up’s existence.
With that initial investment, Halfon and his team developed BeePost’s online platform from the Ramat Gan-based Red Round Robin tech-hub and with their support.
The platform is designed to generate stronger engagement of site visitors and prolong the time visitors spend on a site through interactive comment options.
“Any site in the world can embed our platform which is meant for site owners, bloggers, news sites, online magazines and so on. The idea is to transform the comment sections from boring old exclusively text based activity to more interactive comments that also give the visitor the option to express himself,” Halfon told the Post.
BeePost’s platform allows commentators to comment with images, emotions, and video clips; instead of typing a comment, users will be able to record a 15-second video or audio comment. On top of that, BeePost added various flourishes and decorations such a variety of backgrounds for video comments, animated figures and text options, and various video and sound effects.
“This turns the comments section into a more engaging and interesting feed and encourages site visitors to create more user-generated content,” Halfon said.
“The platform will bring more people to traditional sites and keep them on the site for longer.”
BeePost showcased its platform and ran a successful pilot during the Tel Aviv Geek- Time Conference in November. According to Halfon, BeePost has been embedded and will go online internationally at the end of the month on two websites in England and one in Greece.
According to Halfon, his start-up is currently in a second and much larger investment raising round, after which BeePost will start another employee recruitment round in February.
“We are also currently in talks with many potential big clients around the world whose identity I cannot reveal yet, but they are gigantic media institutions,” he said.