500px Raises Another $13 Million

Posted on 7/21/2015 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Toronto-based 500px has raised $13 million in a Series B round of funding. This round was led by Visual China Group led this round with an $8 million investment. The other $5 million came from existing Series A backers that include Andreessen Horowitz, Harrison Metal, and ff Venture Capital.

For more on the Series A investment in August 2013 that enabled 500px to launch the marketplace aspect of their social media site see this link.

The company has raised a little over $23 million from investors in three funding rounds and will be using the new funding to continue building out its platform with more features and expand geographically, particularly into China.

500px says they have more than 55 million images in their collection from some 6 million community members. However, a significant number of these images are available for licensing through 500px Prime the licensing branch of their offering. The 500px images are licensed as Royalty Free and priced at $250 for print use, $50 for web use ?and $750 is the customer wants to use the image on products for resale. For more on the Prime offering check out this story.

In China, Visual China Group (VCG) represents Getty Images as well as several other Chinese picture agencies. VCG is publically traded on the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchange in China and recently experienced a major decline in share value.

 “The 500px brand has huge potential in the Asia-Pacific region with its unparalleled image quality combined with the massive community base. As a strategic shareholder, we are delighted to distribute 500px premium quality images to our entire customer base in Greater China,” Amy Liang, CEO of Visual China Group told TechCrunch.

“The 500px foundation of discovering creative talent and providing a forum and marketplace for increased exposure is synergistic with the Visual China Group strategic road map,” Liang continued. “In conjunction with the strategic investment and exclusive distribution partnership in China, we are happy to establish our China-specific Joint Venture with 500px to leverage their know-how and experience, as well as our local foundation to rapidly expand the community business in Greater China.”

It is unclear whether the licensing fees in China for use of the 500px images will be the same as charged in Canada and, if so, what the contributors share of the total royalty paid will be.

“Over 1 trillion photographs are taken every year and there is tremendous opportunity for 500px to take the helm in curating to surface the best of them” said Andy Yang, CEO of 500px, in a statement. Typical target users he says are agencies, designers, corporate marketers and creative campaign managers.

“This funding round will enable us to continue to support our rapidly growing community of photographers, be they professional or enthusiasts, with products for discovering, showcasing, and selling amazing content,” Yang continued.

For more background on 500px check out this link.

Copyright © 2015 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


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