Sweden’s Foap, one of a number of startups taking aim at the stock photo industry via iOS and Android apps that let you upload and sell your photos through the company’s marketplace, has raised a further $2.3 million in funding. This brings total funding to approximately $5 million.
Leading the round this time are Gary Vaynerchuk (CEO and co-Founder of VaynerMedia), Jordan Rednor (Upshot Chairman and Protagonist Partner), Jeff Zucker (CNN Worldwide President), and Niklas Ostberg (CEO of Delivery Hero). That’s a pretty decent list of additional backers — adding to a list that includes Swedish VC Industrifonden, and Maxwell Ventures — not least from the media world, a good fit given Foap’s raison d’être.
Launched in 2012, Foap is one of a plethora of startups aiming to disrupt the stock photo industry by taking advantage of the proliferation of smartphone cameras. It lets so-called iPhoneographers (and Androidographers!) monetize their photos by selling them through Foap’s marketplace at $10 a pop and keeping 50% of the revenue. Typical buyers might be publishers looking to use photos in a story or brands needing imagery for an ad or promotional campaign.
In March 2013, the company also introduced “Foap Missions”, a feature that enables brands to define a photographic brief (e.g. take a picture of X in Y) and set a cash prize for the winning entry, as well as purchase any of the entries at the standard price of $10. It’s both a way of commissioning specific images by utilising a reverse marketplace model, and also a form of engagement marketing.
The latter is similar to a feature offered by photo sharing app EyeEm. Meanwhile, competitor Scoopshot also 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 purchased.
To that end, Foap says it’s run nearly 200 ‘Missions’ for “Fortune 500 brands and leading advertising agencies” over the last two years, and has amassed 500,000 registered users who on average upload 30,000 photos per week. It isn’t saying, however, how many of these actually get sold.
On Foap’s latest funding found, co-founder David Los tells me it will be used to speed up product development, and U.S. expansion. The startup is also in the process of raising a Series A round, which I understand is in the $5-7 million range.