How a startup founded outside a sandwich shop started making GIFs for Lady Gaga and Pharrell


If you've been to a company party in the last few years, the odds are good that you've seen one of the Bosco's photo booths. 


It's a white box, elevated a few feet off the ground, where party-goers can pose for four photos in rapid succession, which then get turned into an animated GIF.

The Bosco's taken pictures of everyone from UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to Rihanna. Big-name artists like Lady Gaga and Carrie Underwood have even taken a set of the booths on tour with them, as an extra bit of entertainment for fans.  And brands like L'Oreal, Facebook, Hulu, J.Crew, and OpenTable have booked booths for their events.  

The Bosco photo booth is something of an overnight success story.


Cofounders Aaron Fisher-Cohen and Nick Fehr started the company at the end of 2011.

Fehr, who comes from a background in web development, was on his way back from a hackathon when he ran into Fisher-Cohen outside of a Brooklyn sandwich shop. They had met before, through a mutual friend.  

"I always had the idea to make a video booth," Fisher-Cohen told Business Insider. He comes from a film background and is currently working on his second feature-length film. "That same day, we left saying, 'No matter what, let's see this idea through.'"

The two worked on building a prototype video booth, which ended up being harder than they expected. They decided it would make more sense to build a GIF booth instead. 

"We didn't realize that GIFs were so popular, and that it had never done before," Fisher-Cohen said. "That single project became our staple."


Fisher-Cohen and Fehr started asking their friends if they would be willing to have a GIF booth at their upcoming parties. Word spread quickly. 

In 2014, the Bosco provided booths to more than 1,400 clients in 89 cities. They also help brands plan other digital experiences for their events, including a virtual runway for H&M and a custom photo booth for Lexus.

"I knew enough people in the event space for it to work," Fisher-Cohen said. "It's hard to find an event where a booth doesn't make sense."

 The company has never raised venture capital outside of a small friends-and-family round they closed before getting started three years ago. They don't plan to raise more money, either. 

"It's not part of the plan right now," Fisher-Cohen said. "We're able to grow right now without the cash." 


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