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AVflow for the next 1M video applications
July 11, 2020
• 5 min read

AVflow for the next 1M video applications

YouTube to Skype to Netflix, Snap to Instagram TV to Zoom. It is almost trite to say the obvious: online video continues to increase in ubiquity and importance. 

And yet, we are still only at the cusp.

There are many more amazing video ideas bobbing around in brilliant creators’ minds, just waiting to get built. We need to accelerate this, to turn idea into application faster. 

What we need is a better way to build the next generation of video-based applications.


I started my career in video production and transitioned to a career in video tech. I have built video products and tech businesses, including, from founding-to-acquisition, Simon Says, a text-based video editor in the browser that originated as a transcription, subtitling, and translation engine for video pros. And Amber Video, which authenticates source media and detects malicious content in a world of deepfakes and AI-generated, synthetic media.

I spent a lot of time learning the infrastructure layer necessary to create reliable, scalable video applications. My technical propensity and my original background in production helped. Even so, I made one-way-door choices that I would love to take back in a heart beat, foundational decisions that were too costly to alter once we started building upon.

Through these experiences I saw an opportunity to reduce the barrier to building new video applications and to empower the existing and next generation of founders, builders, developers, and creators.


My life’s experience has taught me that ideas are commonplace, getting started and down to work is the hardest part.

I believe one of the greatest stories of the last 20 years in tech has been the steady reduction in the barriers to build applications, a dramatic increase in the number of builders, and the net effect of an increase in the number of companies being born and with purpose and mission to improve our society.

This story features players like Amazon Web Services, who has made it cost effective to launch a server to run your application; Stripe, who has made it easy (and delightful) to accepts payments on your site; and Shopify, who has made it simple to launch your e-commerce store and manage inventory and shipping. 

There are many more participants in this story, all marching towards making it easier, faster, and cheaper to launch.

It is not a coincidence that the reduction in barriers has led to an increase in number of founders. And yet we still need 1000x more founders to be building their vision for a better world.

How these beliefs intersect with AVflow

Yes, YouTube has been around for over 15 years but we are still only at the tip of the revolution in video.

AVflow was born with the purpose to help bring about this revolution faster: to help new and existing founders, developers, and creators build better video-based applications and video workflows with less friction.

We seek to reduce the cost to experiment.

We seek to reduce the cost to get to market.

We seek to increase access so founders of all backgrounds, all over the world, even non-technical ones, can create important applications that make a dent in the world.

We want to see 1M more video applications created in the next 5 years. 

And AVflow aspires to support the tenacious, the indomitable, and the determined in their pursuit.

Example of applications you can build with AVflow

  • A two-sided marketplace where sellers record video of their items for sale and buyers view videos to get a better idea of the item for purchase.
  • This video gets uploaded to storage, analyzed by AI, tagged, transcoded, and uploaded to a CDN. 
  • Usual cost: 6 weeks. WIth AVflow: 5 minutes.
  • An audio or podcast application where audio is transcribed, tagged, subclipped, made searchable or indexed as part of a recommendation engine, and available for streaming.
  • The audio file is uploaded to cloud storage; processed through a speech engine and NLU for subject tagging; JSON result is parsed, subclips are marked, and metadata attached; results are indexed, audio file is uploaded to a streaming CDN.
  • Usual cost: 8 weeks. With AVflow: 7 minutes.
  • An advertiser safety product where advertisers do not want their commercials to play before unsavory UGC video such as those that promote violence or contain nudity. 
  • Video URL are entered into a database when the videos match a certain criteria; videos at the URL is ingested, audio and video tracks are split via transcoding; audio is transcribed and analyzed for controversial content and video is analyzed for nudity with NSFW computer vision A.I. The score lives in a database that can be looked up prior to playing commercials.
  • Usual cost: 12 weeks; With AVflow: 10 mins.

But how does AVflow reduce costs so much?

To design and build a video workflow for your application, such as the ones above, you need at least one to two good to great engineers working for one to two months to read API docs, connect APIs, and set parameters. Then you need to test, adjust parameters, and test again till your video is able to get from the desired trigger point to the desired result at the output.

You also need to account for outlier situations (such as does the video title contain non-Latin characters or emojis...I’ve been there, a simple smiley crashed the system 🤦).

AVflow turns video-application building on its head. We have already done the tedious work of connecting with numerous common APIs used in video workflows.

Just drag and drop the APIs you need, in the order you need, with our visual workflow builder.

Set the parameters you desire for the API.

Create a database, which has a simple spreadsheet face, to save metadata.

Connect a webhook.

And...that’s all. Turn it on and your workflow is ready. 
Launch in 5 mins. 

No longer will you need 6 weeks and $20k.

No longer will you need to recruit devs and video engineers just to test.

No longer will you spend developer resources on an area which does not answer your core, primary, early-stage question: do your customers care about what you are building?

No longer will you be reluctant to even just try.

Calling creators of all stripes: let's do this

AVflow was born from my team and I’s experience of the challenges we faced to build video applications and the frustration that we felt as we believed it should be much easier and faster.

We have relentlessly focussed on abstracting key aspects common to the majority of video applications, such as ingesting, transcoding, A.I. functionality, and distribution to CDNs and platforms, so that you can easily integrate what you need for your application. And we made it super flexible and with loads of redundancy so it can scale as your application does.

AVflow is now live and free to get started, join here.

We are excited to share what we have built. 

We are even more excited to see what you build with it.

--Shamir Allibhai, CEO & Founder of AVflow