Cycloramic (Car360)

SEASON 5 EPISODE 16

PITCH

panoramic view photo app

ENTREPRENEUR

Bruno Francois

ASKED FOR

$90,000 for 5%

GOT

$500,000 for 15%

SHARK

Lori Greiner and Mark Cuban

STATUS

ACQUIRED, IN BUSINESS

Company Background

What is Cycloramic?

Whether you’re a private seller or a car dealership, all you need to take hands-free, 360 degrees, 3D rendition images in augmented reality to showcase the vehicle you’re trying to sell is the cellphone in your pocket. Thanks to Cycloramic, which went on to become the Car360 app that uses the phones gyroscope and vibrations for a panoramic visual effect.

Who is the Founder of Cycloramic?

The founder of the Car360 app is Bruno Francois, a born-again entrepreneur from Atlanta. He has an undergraduate in mechanical engineering and a Master’s degree in computer science. Before quitting his job to devote his time solely to working on his designs, he served as president in a family-run company selling home building products. Post his many successful investments, partnerships and millions of downloads for Cycloramic, Bruno pivoted the app to other design ideas, including the Car360. In 2017 while showcasing a demo for Car360, the Carvana CEO ended up offering $22 million, to outright buy the product and company. Bruno is now in an executive position on the board of Carvana.

Founder’s Story

Bruno drew inspiration for his app design from watching other apps go viral over the years. Everything from Angry Birds to Foursquare and countless others, and he felt he could come up with something to do the same. So in 2011, he quit his job, aged 40 and gave himself the deadline of a year to design something, liquifying all his savings in the process. His mantra was to dispel the notion that, “There’s an app for that.” Which he felt wasn’t always the case. Towards the end of 2012, with his funds running dangerously low, Bruno came up with the Cycloramic, a hands-free way to take 360-degree photos with the iPhone. Taking a short video and writing a brief description, he emailed it to 20 or so tech-industry writers and influencers, and it eventually ended up impressing none other than Steve Wozniak. Barely a week after its launch on the app store, the Apple co-founder shared a 360 degrees video of himself taken by it on social media, leading to a massive spike in downloads on the app store. Feeling he needed an even bigger boost, Bruno decided to look for capital investors to help him market and develop the app further.

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