Seattle photo-editing company PicMonkey has received a $41 million boost from private equity firm Spectrum Equity.
Seattle photo-editing company PicMonkey has received a $41 million boost from Spectrum Equity, a private equity firm known for its investments in SurveyMonkey, GrubHub and Ancestry.com.
Spectrum, based in Boston and San Francisco, has taken a “significant stake” in PicMonkey with the investment, said PicMonkey co-founder and CEO Jonathan Sposato, though he declined to disclose the percentage.
PicMonkey was founded in 2012 to capitalize on the growing digital-photo market, which has accelerated since Instagram became a sensation. People upload 1.8 billion images to the Internet every day, according to a 2014 report from Kleiner Perkins’ Mary Meeker.
“Editing is the very first activity you apply to the photo,” Sposato said. “ … it launches consumers to a whole other universe of things to do with photos.”
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Sposato, an angel investor who previously worked at Microsoft and is the co-founder and chairman of tech-news site Geekwire, joined PicMonkey at its early stages as an investor. The company was bootstrapped up until the Spectrum investment.
The Seattle company hopes Spectrum’s years of experience will help it grow from a startup into a market leader.
Sposato has deep experience in photo editing. He led editing company Picnik, which Google bought in 2010. Google shut down the service about two years later.
PicMonkey has about 32 employees in its downtown Seattle office. Sposato said the injection of Spectrum funding will be used to continue hiring and grow the company.
“Spectrum has within their portfolio this vast network of expertise,” he said. “We can unlock a lot of growth that perhaps we would be slower at attacking if it weren’t for this investment.”
The company is operating in a crowded field full of editing software, Web-based tools and mobile applications. Sposato acknowledges that photo editing will likely have just a few market leaders, much like the situation he encountered in the gaming industry when he worked at Xbox.
PicMonkey is reaching out with a “different voice,” Sposato said, especially by appealing to female users. Women make up 80 percent of PicMonkey customers.
Users have edited more than 1.7 billion photos using the site since it launched three years ago, the company said.
PicMonkey charges a subscription fee to users who want more than basic editing tools. It does not disclose its revenue, but Sposato said the company is profitable.