Omaha Startup PeggyBank Digitizes Old Media For Online Sharing

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If you’re like me you’ve thought about digging up old 8mm film, or VHS tapes, and converting them to a more modern format. There are a lot of services that fulfill this need – just do a search for “media conversion” or something similar and you’ll see dozens of services. Most of the sites don’t inspire much confidence in sending them priceless childhood videos, though. And generally they focus on getting media to DVD and mailing it to you.

Omaha, Nebraska based PeggyBank stands out. The company mails you a pre-addressed box for your media. You can include anything – photos, slides, negatives, 8mm video or VHS. They’ll convert it all, put it on their site for you to view, and return the original media. You can then share links to the digital files, or download them to keep on your hard drive, burn to DVD or CD, etc.

Here’s an example video from 1958.

PeggyBank just launched in March, and uses Kaltura to deal with video streaming. The service is pretty slick for a new startup on a shoestring budget.

What’s most surprising is how well they’re doing. The company is cash flow positive and is generating over $50,000 per month in revenue. Average order size is in the hundreds of dollars.

How’d they do it?

CEO Jim Simon has focused exclusively on daily deal sites to generate traffic. He says he’s tried Groupon but the revenue split and the onerous terms don’t really work for him, but that services offered by the New York Times, the LA Times and other newspapers are perfect. They address an older audience, he says, with lots of old pictures and movies they’d like to see online. And they promote deals aggressively in print, online, via email blasts and on social networking sites.

So far he’s relied almost exclusively on these daily deal sites to generate traffic. And because so many people include lots of extra media he’s able to make a tidy profit.

There’s lots he wants to get done now that the business is off the ground, though. Streamlining operations to allow for scale is a priority, as is building out a tech team to build a more robust sharing and streaming product for users.

There’s no innovative tech here. But there is a plucky young startup headquartered in the middle of nowhere that’s created a nice product, is marketing it smartly and may just turn into a big business.