Former doctors head to San Francisco to win big with photo-tagging app

21 Apr 2016

Pictured: Rene van Troost, Taimaz Kianersi and Joris Heijnen

Although they trained in medicine, Rene van Troost and Taimaz Kianersi have found a cure for the chore of tagging people in photos with an app that intelligently recognises people and automatically tags them called Capture Camera.

“If Instagram is the picture version of Facebook, we want to be the picture version of WhatsApp and, with one tagline, ‘the killer selfie app,’” said van Troost.

Capture Camera works with APIs from all the various social networks and, when a photo is taken, mines the social network and automatically tags people in photos if they approve.

The company was one of 75 start-ups exhibiting at the Uprise Festival in Amsterdam, which was founded by Irishman Paul O’Connell.

The app is launching in six weeks and is currently being beta tested by 200 people.

“If you want to remain invisible it’s up to you, you will only be tagged if you accept a request,” Kianersi said.

“The beauty of it is that it is the ultimate selfie app, in that you don’t even need to take pictures, other people do that for you.”

Van Troost and Kianersi trained in medicine in Belgium before moving to the Netherlands to start their company.

But, despite studying medicine, van Troost always had an interest in technology and design and wound up working at Dutch navigation giant TomTom, where he was a product manager in charge of its iPhone app and user experience.

Their next move will be to Silicon Valley, where they believe investors will be more open to the capabilities of Capture Camera.

“We have taken on angel investment and we have the term sheets for a seed round but, in reality, venture capital in The Netherlands is geared towards businesses that would deliver a profit in year one. This is a different kind of proposition and is much more a Silicon Valley app play than the usual business software that gets Dutch investors excited.”

Let’s hope Capture Camera has learned from the mistakes made by Google Photos’ auto-tagging feature.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years