500px, the Toronto-based startup known for its slick photo sharing site, has already come a long way toward being the darling of the digital photo buff set here in North America. In 2013, the company is setting its sights on conquering Europe.
To that end, 500px has just acquired Pulpfingers, a Strasbourg, France-based startup that makes photo-focused iOS apps. It’s mainly an acqui-hire deal, which we’re told was an all-stock transaction in the “low seven figures” range.
Notably, one of Pulpfingers’ big apps has been ISO500, an iPhone app for browsing photos on 500px. Earlier this week in what now seems like a hint of the pending 500px deal, Pulpfingers announced that it would cease development on Photopular, its app for browsing Flickr photos.
Pulpfingers’ two-man founding team of David Charlec and Jerome Scheer (pictured in the photo at right, incidentally working at 500px’s recent Pixel Hack Day event) will continue to operate the Pulpfingers app for the next several months as they transition to full-time roles working on the 500px platform. They’ll be spending lots of time in Toronto in the coming months, but will ultimately keep their base in France as a European outpost of 500px.
The real focus here is expanding into the European market. 500px CEO Oleg Gutsol said in an emailed statement:
“It’s been our intention to increase our presence in Europe and we’ve been looking for the right opportunity. We have huge numbers of photographers in Germany, France and Spain, so a central presence in France makes a lot of sense.”
This is the second acquisition 500px has made this year. This past summer, the company bought another two-man startup, recommendation engine startup Algo Anywhere, for $2 million in cash and stock.
It may seem like an impressive level of M&A activity for a startup that has raised some $525,000 in seed funding from investors, but 500px makes money on its own by selling premium accounts. It’ll be interesting to see how it continues to scale in the months ahead as it looks to grow on a more global level.