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Photo:Tech Stars by the numbers

Before we get too deep into the year, we thought that we would take a breather and look around the numbers a little bit closer. Since we love data around here, we compiled a few easy to digest charts to get a better understanding of the forces at play and how each one compares to the other. We purposely limited ourselves to the current top 3 superstars of the photo:tech space, Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest. We  took  publicly available numbers recently published by credible sources…

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Shutterstock buys Rex for $33 Million

North America woke up with the news that golden boy photo agency Shutterstock acquired no less than 2 companies in what seems as one swoop. One, in the music category, the other, in the photo licensing world. Obviously it is the latter that interests us here. Shutterstock’s announcement that it has acquired 60 years old UK base photo agency Rex Features for $33 million is certainly good news for Rex ( at least, their share holders) but not so much for Shutterstock. And here’s why: Rex is…

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Mapillary announces new app and new funding

Mapillary, a company we reviewed last year,  announced today a new iOS app that makes it even easier for consumers to build a photo representation of the world. The company also announced that it has raised $1.5 million in seed funding led by Sequoia. Other backers include the international funds Playfair, Wellington, and LDV Capital, and a number of prominent angel investors, including James Currier, Taavet Hinrikus, and Naval Ravikant. The Mapillary community uses their smartphones and other devices like GoPro, Garmin Virb and low…

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The rise of the Chief Visual Officer

One the strongest emerging trend we have seen in the last few years is a massive increase in usage of photography. Not just for documenting and remembering events, the reason the Brownie was invented, but more and more to communicate. In fact, the foundation of all social media, the ultimate communication platform, is photography. This is impacting advertising and brand awareness like never before. In the age of physical film, it would have been utterly ridiculous for brands to consider they could insert their message…

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Ditto unveils visual brand power tool

Ditto labs has made some noise in 2014, albeit maybe not  the way it intended to. With a proprietary image recognition engine, Ditto tracks thousands of brands’ logos on social media sites Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter. With the resulting data, it can provide its users with a large volume of information around how consumers experience products and maybe more importantly, how they decide to visually share their experience. While there is no immediate actionable data, maybe besides retweeting a post, it is the only company…

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5 predictions for 2015

With 2014 now behind us, it is time to look at the new year with innocent crisp  new eyes, full of hope and wishful thinking. As tradition demands, let’s jump into the prediction bandwagon and look at what the Photo:Tech space will bring  in 2015. 1) The majors will enter the image advertising space. Up to now, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft as well as Facebook, Twitter and Amazon have stayed on the sidelines of in-image advertising. Amazon did come out with a beta product that automatically…

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10 Questions to a founder : Foap

There are not a lot of true pure Photo:Tech companies: Companies that have found a successful business model around the creation  and distribution of photography  online at a large-scale thanks to an intelligent use of technology. Shutterstock, obviously, comes to mind, along with newly acquired Fotolia. However, both are extensions of an older business model, that of stock photo agencies. Their primary limitation to massive growth is their need to store a massive repository of pre formatted images that might never be licensed. Enters the in-demand…

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One trick pony economy

Let’s face it, VC’s artificially sustain businesses before they are profitable, delaying the inevitable market confrontation giving founders more reasons to convince investors than users. In fact , and this is more prevalent in the phone app world, we see founders solely focused on seducing investors, hoping to figure out the business model later in the company’s cycle. And investors willingly playing the game, if only to beef up their portfolios. They are, what we call them the One trick pony apps. Someone, somewhere figures…

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It’s a women’s world

It’s a women’s world, after all.  App analytic company, Appannie, upon releasing a new feature to its  intelligence platform, revealed  that most of the photography apps downloads were done by a majority of women. Photo sharing sites like  Pinterest know this very well already (80% women), as well as Instagram (68% ) and Snapchat (70%). Not a big surprise, considering how women are more inclined to photographically document their world, whether for domestic reasons (families,weddings, births, childhood) or friendship ( lunches, brunches, vacations, hangouts). A…

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The Future of Imaging by Barmak Heshmat

Insightful talk by Barmak Heshmat on the possibilities of imaging in the very near future and its implication on the consumer world. As a postdoctoral associate at MIT, Barmak Heshmat is working on inventing novel imaging systems and is excited possibilities that these imaging systems can provide for the future of health, industry and social culture. His talk introduces five major and unusual paradigm shifts that are fundamentally changing the concept of cameras and imaging. Photo by Silvia Viñuales

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