Square acquired Viewfinder, who could be next?

Other photo sharing apps that have recently raised money could be the next to be acquired

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
December 3, 2013
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Earlier today it was announced that mobile payments company Square had picked up photo-sharing platform Viewfinder.

The photo sharing app enabled its users to share exactly what they wanted with whom they wanted. That meant only giving complete control to the user, allowing them to give, and revoke, the ability for others to see their photos.

Now, Square will be putting the Viewfinder team to work on its seller initiatives, helping merchants produce better images to highlight their goods. 

With this purchase, even though it was mainly an aqui-hire, is it possible that other photo-sharing apps may be used for the same purpose? There are plenty of other companies, most notably PayPal, that could use people experienced with a photo platform to help them sell more goods. 

Updates to the photo-sharing space

The last time I took a look at this space was a year and a half ago, when Instagram was bought by Facebook for $1 billion. of course, a lot has changed since then. In fact, some of the companies I spoke about have since shut down completely.

That includes Picplz, an early Instagram competitor, which closed its doors last July.

The company received $5 million in funding from Andreessen-Horowitz in November 2010 but, despite being very similar to Instagram Picplz was never able to catch up.

Another victim of Instagram's success was Color, which shut down in December of last year. 

At one time, it seemed like the Sequoia-backed app, which organized photos by event and location, was going to be the one to finally take on Instagram. The app raised $41 million in March of 2011, but then didn't take off the way investors had hoped.

Still, others that I highlighted at the time have gone on to greater success, and more money.

For example, EyeEm, A photo sharing app that makes the user put a title and location on the photo, which then helps the users find similar albums and photos that other users have posted.

In August 2011, EyeEm received an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Passion Capital, Wellington Partners and Christophe Maire. Then, in July of this year, the company raised in a Series A round led by Earlybird Venture Capital, with help from existing investors.

The EyeEm community is growing at a rate of one million new users each month. The app is available in 20 languages.

And there is also Path, which raised a $30 million Series B round from Greylock Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Jerry Murdock , Sir Richard Branson, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Index Ventures, Mark Pincus, Yuri Milner and Allen & Company in April 2012. In April of this year, it reached the 10 million user mark. 

Some of the new players

And, of course, some new photo-sharing apps was popped up in the meantime as well.

One of those is FoKo, which was founded this year, and which bills itself as "private photo sharing for companies." The service allows employees to take, edit, and share photos from their mobile device. FoKo provides a secure environment to share with employees, customers and partners.

Another new photo-sharing app is Lifecake, which enables families to easily and privately share photos and videos. The company raised $1.1 million in seed funding in November from Balderton Capital. The company previously raised $300,000 in angel funding from Techtopia, EC1 Capital, Tony Saigh, James Peck and Serge Alleyne.

Lifecake takes photos, videos, artwork and milestones that are captured on any device, and automatically creates a timeline that can then be shared with friends and family. 

The parents have complete control over who sees the timeline, and what is added, though other family members are allowed to add content if they are approved to. Users can then order physical photo books from the pictures they select. 

There is also Shuttersong, which allow users to add sound and music to their photos. It raised $1.675 million in seed funding from angel investors last month.

Foap, a Swedish mobile photography startup, closed a $1.5 million funding round from Swedish VC Industrifonden and Maxwell Ventures.

Two other photo sharing services that recently raised money include:

Photo collage-making app PicCollage, which raised $2.3 million in seed funding from 500 Startups, Floodgate Fund, Freestyle Capital, Quest Venture Partners, Sand Hill Angels, XG Ventures, ngmoco founder Neil Young, and N3TWORK founder Bob Stevenson.

And photography service Scoopshot, which secured $3.9 million in Series A funding from Conor Venture Partners and Finnish Industry Investment, with participation from existing investors.

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Description: Viewfinder is a unique photo-sharing platform that enables you to share exactly what you want with who you want.
Description: Edit and share photos securely with colleagues, partners and customers. Oh yeah, and it's free!

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