Ottawa’s Foko Launches Photo-Sharing Startup for the Workplace

Ottawa-based photo sharing startup Foko launched today at DEMO Fall 2013, where it showcased its technology in the “Work” category of the Santa Clara, California conference.

FoKo is a service that provides private photo sharing for Companies. Just as Instagram changed the face of social networking, FoKo says it will change the face of business communications.

“Companies are not leveraging the productivity potential of photos,” said CEO Eric Suave. “While all their employees, partners and customers carry with them powerful smartphone cameras, there is no easy way to share photos for work. Foko changes all this by making it easy to take, edit and share photos privately with colleagues. We are the Instagram for Business, increasing worker productivity through the use of photos.”

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FoKo allows employees to take, edit, and easily share photos from their mobile device. It provides a private environment to share with employees, customers and partners. At 2 PM PST today the company will provide a live, four-minute demonstration of their technology on the DEMO Fall 2013 stage.

“Photo-sharing is about to hit the workplace with FoKo, which takes an enterprise approach to how companies share photos within their organization,” added Erick Schonfeld, Executive Producer of DEMO.

Foko thinks that because users love  taking, sharing and looking through photos, their solution can be directed towards enterprise. In a release the company said that technologies are typically proven on the consumer Internet first, and then adapted to enterprise. “This trend of photo sharing in companies will follow this same path. The use cases for photo sharing for work are broad and diverse spanning from taking pictures of displays in retail, to pictures of equipment in oil and gas, and photos of white boards and office parties for knowledge workers.”

It see’s its competition in a number of startups, including Yammer, Quip, Tomfoolery/Anchor and Box, who are all involved in some way in enterprise social networking and file sharing. Foko is obviously differentiating itself by pitching the best photo-sharing experience at work as opposed to the broader spectrum of file sharing.

It’s already had some success in beta testing with a few Fortune 50, Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies, “participating across financial services, industrial manufacturing, retail, technology, consumer packaged goods, entertainment, and logistics.”

Its cofounders are Suave, a former VP at NewsGator, and Colin McDonald, a lead developer who used to work at Suave’s previous company, Tomoye. Both Newsgator and Tomoye are both in the enterprise social networking space, so the pair are clearly on to something with their new endeavour.

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