Psykosoft Secures $500k Seed Capital To Build Out Psykopaint’s Zynga-Like Art Sites

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Last year I saw an amazing demonstration. Psykopaint was a web app, but no ordinary web app. This was an incredible photo-editing site which allowed users to turn their photos into “painted” works of art in the style of the masters such as Monet, Renoir or Van Gogh. It was showcased at the European accelerator Seedcamp, where Balderton Capital and Atlas Venture are investors. And sure enough, today Psykosoft, the company behind Psykopaint, inks a $500,000 seed funding round co-led by Balderton Capital and Atlas Venture. Angel investors from Harmonix (developers of Guitar Hero) and Brightcove also participated.

If Instagram is about stylizing photos, and Draw Something is about silly sketches, Psykopaint is about showing of your skills as a great master painter. “the goal is to make an artist out of everyone,” says Mathieu Gosselin, founder and CEO of Psykosoft.

Right now the app attracts over one million visitors per month and user rates are doubling every few weeks, says the company. So far 13 million people have used the site and about 2,500 paintings are uploaded to the gallery every day.

Gosselin says he plans to use the funding to build out the company’s existing apps on iPad and Windows 8, develop new products, and recruit.

Psykopaint works around digital goods, a model similar to Zynga games. You earn points for performing certain actions or you can buy some if you want to speed up the process.

After joining the TechStars Boston programme in January this year, the team has also developed the fun Psykonect and Psykogif, which is like a simple Loopcam.

Gosselin plans to run the company decentralised as they plan to hire talent globally.

On its future in tablets Gosselin also told us: “We focus on where we think there’s a market and for tablets we’re not sure there’s one for android (for tablets at least).”

On the product side Psykopaint just changed its model from a subscription based to digital goods.

“So now the next steps will be new brushes (including a totally new technique that we call remix brush) and new content like effects, features. We also plan improvements in the community like the ability to paint over someone else work and build a marketplace where our best painters will be able to sell their work,” he says.