500px funds stock photo business

Photo sharing platform 500px has promised that the US$13 million it has raised will be invested into creating a new ‘cutting-edge’ design, ‘innovative’ mobile apps, but most importantly an ‘unmatched’ licensing marketplace.
500pxThe funding comes as 500px strikes six million members, who have uploaded 55 million photos, most of which are sold on Prime, 500px’s photo stock handle, and in the community marketplace.

‘Each day, more than 50 people come to work at 500px,’ Evgeny Tchebotarev, co-founder of 500px said in an announcement of the funding. ‘Developers, designers, salespeople, editors, marketing, and customer support professionals, all striving day in and day out to make 500px the best global photo-sharing community and marketplace in the world.’

The bulk of the funding – US$8 million at least – comes from a company called Visual China, which is China’s ‘leading provider for high-end creative images. It has been described as the ‘Getty of China’, a fitting title given this funding has been viewed as in retaliation to 500px’s main competitor, EyeEm, signing a deal with Getty. EyeEm also managed to raise US$18 million in April to expand its marketplace.

‘The 500px brand has huge potential in the Asia-Pacific region with its unparalleled image quality combined with the massive community base. As a strategic shareholder, we are delighted to distribute 500px premium quality images to our entire customer base in Greater China,’ Amy Liang, CEO of Visual China, said.

‘In conjunction with the strategic investment and exclusive distribution partnership in China, we are happy to establish our China-specific Joint Venture with 500px to leverage their know-how and experience, as well as our local foundation to rapidly expand the community business in Greater China.’

500px delving further into the stock photography marketplace is no real surprise. The company, as well as similar photo sharing/selling services like EyeEm and Flickr, are constantly testing new revenue making ventures. Particularly in licensing its members’ photos.

Could these photo sharing communities and apps be the next big players in the stock photo market? Time will soon tell, but it looks like Getty and Visual China seem to think so.

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