On-Demand Photography Marketplace Scoopshot Snaps $3.9 Million Series A

Founders and VCs are placing big bets on smartphone-powered photography, in a bid to disrupt the lucrative $2.88 billion stock photo industry. Scoopshot is one such startup.

Today the crowdsourced on-demand photography marketplace and accompanying smartphone app, announced it’s raised $3.9 million in Series A funding from Conor Venture Partners and Finnish Industry Investment, with participation by existing investors. Chris Barchak, Partner at Conor Venture Partners, will join Scoopshot’s board as its new Chairman.

The new capital will be used to help grow its service worldwide, specifically to ramp up Finland-based Scoopshot’s presence in the U.S. and UK by expanding its existing sales teams there.

By our calculation, the new round of funding brings the startup’s total funding to approximately $11 million. That appears to significantly best rivals such as Foap, EyeEm or U.S.-based Rawporter.

Launched in Finland in February 2011, with a global roll out the following January, Scoopshot’s crowdsourced photography marketplace was originally pitched as a way for users to upload and sell photo (and video) eye-witness reports and other newsworthy and timely content, pitting it against traditional picture agencies and citizen journalism style news services such as U.K.-based Blottr’s News Point.

However, the company has since pivoted slightly, and like others in the crowdsourced photography space, now positions itself as a reverse marketplace for stock and other types of timely photography, giving an on-demand element to the photos it sells. This lets buyers create local, national and global photo “assignments”, which users then respond to by taking and uploading photos that meet the brief and get a cut of any subsequent revenue generated if the photo is bought.

Direct competitors include Foap, which has introduced “missions” to its crowdsourced and smartphone-based photography marketplace, or U.S.-based Rawporter. Instagram competitor EyeEm also has photo-missions and recently flicked the switch on its own marketplace.

Scoopshot has apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. It claims 350,000 mobile photographers have joined its service. Meanwhile, brands such as GANT, Greenpeace, and Nokia have created photo assignments, since the on-demand feature was introduced in July.