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Aussie startup ImageBrief funding kitty hits $3.4 million with US investment

Thursday, 5 June 2014 | By Kye White

New York-based Great Oaks Venture Capital has invested $US750,000 ($A807,000) in Australian startup ImageBrief, bringing the company’s total funding to date to around $A3.44 million.


ImageBrief is an online marketplace where commercial image buyers license curated photos from professional photographers. Its headquarters are in New York, but it also has offices in both the United Kingdom and Australia.


Great Oaks Venture Capital has invested in a number of successful platform and marketplace businesses including Trulia, Stubhub, Invite Media, JoorAccess and Olapic.


ImageBrief chief executive officer Simon Moss says the company is experiencing “explosive growth” and has doubled its revenue in the past six months.


“We’re starting to see the network effects of a platform business,’’ he says.


“For example, in the last six months alone we’ve doubled the number of approved photographers and subsequently doubled the number of high quality photos submitted to each brief.


“This means buyers are getting a wider variety of high quality images and more briefs are getting awarded.


“In turn this drives both photographer and buyer satisfaction as both have a high expectation of transacting.


“Our goal is to attract 1 million of the world’s most talented photographers.”


Currently, over 18,000 photographers in 168 countries have signed on to sell photographers to over 5000 image buyers.


The capital from this latest funding round will be used to expand its product team and develop additional offerings in response to the needs of advertising agencies, brands and publishing customers.


“The additional needs of the clients include things like the ability to hire a photographer through our platform if a brief is not fulfilled,’’ Moss says.


“This might be based on genre, work experience or location.


“We have occasions where an agency, for example, may not quite find the right shot for their campaign and then need to hire a photographer.


“Coordinating busy freelance photographers can be difficult for them, particularly if it’s in another country.


“We have photographers that often say ‘I don’t have the shot they are looking for, but I’m in that location right now and I can go shoot it’.


“So we’re about to launch a premium invite only offering where we will offer the best 20% of our photographers accounts to promote their profile to buyers and get hired for work.


“Curating the quality and geographic range of these photographers is critical to maintain a high-quality buyer experience.”