Shutterfly buys photo sharing platform ThisLife

Steven Loeb · January 7, 2013 · Short URL:

Terms of the deal were undisclosed, ThisLife technology will be integrated into Shutterfly

(Updated to reflect comment from Shutterfly)

Photo publishing and printing service Shutterfly has gone out and purchased ThisLife, a cloud-based photo and video organization company, it was announced Monday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ThisLife not only stores photos and videos in the cloud, but it also automatically organizes them with face recognition technology and location-based tagging. In the next few months, ThisLife’s technology will be layered onto the Shutterfly platform, so that users will have the ability to safely and easily preserve, organize and share photos, no matter where they are stored, including mobile devices, since the ThisLife platform also includes capabilities for the iPhone and iPad.

"The combination of ThisLife with Shutterfly's seamless creation paths, multi-channel platform and robust cloud, which stores 18 billion images, provides a unified, end-to-end solution for customers to intelligently organize, store, share and create physical and digital products across web and mobile devices," Gretchen Sloan, Director, Corporate Communications & PR at Shutterfly, told VatorNews.

It was also announced that ThisLife’s employees, including founders Andrea and Matt Johnson, will join Shutterfly.

“Since 1999, Shutterfly has made it easier for consumers to be more creative with their memories,” Jeffrey Housenbold, president and chief executive officer of Shutterfly, said in a statement. “The combination of ThisLife’s best in class cloud organization and storage solution with Shutterfly’s award-winning product creation paths, uniquely positions Shutterfly to be the leading full service solution for storing, organizing, and sharing life most important memories.“

Palo Alto, California-based ThisLife was founded in 2010, by husband-and-wife team Andrea and Matt Johnson when they were trying to organize photos and videos of their family.  Andrea is the company’s CEO and Matt is the CTO. The company raised a $2.75 million seed round in June 2012, led by Madrona Venture Group, with help from Morado Ventures, Rogers Venture Partners, Sujal Patel (Isilon), Brad Jefferson (Animoto) and Brad Garlinghouse (Yahoo, AOL, YouSendIt).

“As parents, Matt and I love to capture our family's special moments, but by the time our oldest was a toddler, we were inundated with cherished photos and videos. These wonderful memories were scattered across the web, various devices, memory cards, and throughout our home,” Andrea Johnson said in statement.

“That is why we created ThisLife; it is a simple, safe, organized home for all your photo and videos. As long time Shutterfly customers we are thrilled to join the Shutterfly team and we look forward to combining our platform with their mass audience. Our technology, combined with Shutterfly’s rich product creation paths, will deliver consumers a best in class experience to store, share and create precious memories.”

Other Shutterfly purchases

Shutterfly had previously bought up digital marketing company WMSG for $6 million in November 2010, and then acquired TinyPrints in March 2011 for $333 million, which also gave it access to Wedding  TinyPrints operates for common announcements and invitations, as well as for wedding-specific invitations (save the date, rehearsal dinner, etc.). Both services allow users to customize their announcements/invitations and select from designs created by top artists. 

Shutterfly purchased Israeli photo software company Photoccino in May 2012 for an undisclosed amount. Photoccino develops technologies for the ranking, analysis and organization of digital photos. In September 2012, Shutterfly bought Penguin Digital, the makers of the Mobile Photo Factory, or MoPho app, which allows users to create photo prints and products, such as canvas prints, clothing, mugs, key chains, and more.  The mobile app allows users to pull up their photos from their iPhone, Facebook, or Instagram accounts to create products right from their phone.

With the purchases of Photoccino and Penguin Digital and now This Life, Shutterfly says that it "is building the next generation, fully integrated, platform agnostic solution for organizing, storing, sharing and creating physical and digital products from the web or mobile devices."

ThisLife was not available for comment at this time.

(Image source:

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