500px, the Toronto-based startup that powers a super-slick photo sharing site, announced today that it has made its first acquisition with the purchase of Algo Anywhere, a startup also based in Toronto that specializes in recommendation algorithms.
The price tag was some $2 million, which came in a mix of cash and stock, a source involved in the deal tells me. That’s a very nice takeaway for a bootstrapped two-man startup that was founded just 10 months ago.
500px says Algo Anywhere’s recommendation engine technology will integrated fully into its site to power new personalization features. Going forward, Algo’s Zach Aysan and Adam Gravitis will serve as 500px’s Chief Data Scientist and Chief Software Architect, respectively. These additions will bring 500px’s staff roster up to 16.
Founded in 2009, 500px has emerged over the past 18 months or so as a super popular place for professional photographers and advanced photo buffs to share and sell their works — giving sites such as Flickr a real run for their money. 500px has taken on just over half a million dollars in outside funding, so it’s pretty cool to see how successful it’s become going up against players with much deeper pockets. Today’s multi-million dollar acquisition shows that the team has even bigger plans for the months ahead.
Here is a relevant bit from the press release that 500px issued this morning about the Algo Anywhere deal:
“One of our goals that we’re constantly working towards with our platform, is to make it more user friendly, more customized and more engaging,” said Oleg Gutsol, CEO of 500px. “When we first met the Algo team we immediately recognized that their capabilities and technology would be a perfect fit for our needs to make social photography more interactive and engaging. Combining their big data analysis and recommendation engine, curation and visual content we’re looking forward to offering our users a greatly enhanced experience.”