One of the cool things about Instagram is that it has spawned a whole ecosystem of companies that use the popular photography app’s APIs to develop their own services. One of these is Instacanvas, a recent graduate of the L.A.-based MuckerLab accelerator. The company, which allows Instagram users to sell their photos as physical prints, just announced that it has raised $1.7 million in an oversubscribed round. Investors include FF Angel (Founders Fund’s seed investment vehicle), First Round Capital, and Bullpen, as well as a number of angel investors, including Scott Banister.
More Than Just Canvases
Instacanvas, as the service’s CEO and co-founder Matt Munson told me last week, plans to use this new round of funding to introduce new products besides canvasses and hire additional employees to scale the company (Instacanvas is especially looking to hire more backend and mobile engineers). Among these new products are framed artwork and desktop art pieces crafted from 1-inch thick acrylic photo glass which are launching today (all of Instacanvas’ products start at $39.95). Besides these new products, Instacanvas also just introduced $9 worldwide flat-rate shipping.
Munson also noted that the company piqued investors’ interest because it stands at the intersection of social and e-commerce. The site’s current growth curve also looks more like a pure social media play than an e-commerce site, with the advantage that Instacanvas has a an easily identifiable business model.
The service, as Munson told me, currently hosts about 100,000 Instagram galleries that its users can use to sell their photos on canvas and as framed artwork. The company’s users come from about 35-40 different countries.