It’s been over four years since Ramzi, Lorenz, Gen and I traveled from Berlin to NYC to host a pop-up mobile photography gallery, one of the first of its kind. I remember reaching out to people on Twitter, Flickr and every social service on the web to find amazing photography to exhibit, all totally non-profit and for the simple love of art. I remember the enthusiasm we encountered for this new genre and the ability for people to be able to share what we see instantly. It’s what led us to really understand the coming visual revolution and start working on our own idea of how the future of photography should play out.
As I’m sure some of you reading this can relate, becoming a founder is about more than just having a dream. It’s about changing your life — it’s about chasing reality. It’s sleeplessness, it’s frustration, it’s struggle. It’s a straight up hustle. The bigger a team grows and the more talented thinkers and creators believe in your dream and join the journey with you, the vision gets clearer, stronger, more powerful. This is when you leave it all on the table, this is when you know you can’t go back, and when you don’t back down. Here is a deep thank you to all those people we met on the way and helped us getting this far.
Many lessons, iterations, and releases later, I could not be more excited to share another huge milestone for our team: We’ve raised our next round of funding to help our awesome 13-million strong community get discovered for their amazing work, some of whom have been around since that first gallery show in New York..
Our new infusion of $18 million USD, comes from a group of outstanding partners: Valar Ventures, the New York based team around Andrew McCormack, James Fitzgerald and Peter Thiel is leading the round and we could not be more excited to have them join our board.
Also all of our existing investors, Earlybird Ventures, Passion Capital, Wellington Partners, Atlantic Labs and Open Ocean Capital, are participating in this. These firms truly believe not only in EyeEm’s vision for the future of photography, but also in our team, our creative community and our outstanding technology.
Naturally, the first question is always: “Where’s this money going?”
The answer is simple: It’s going to help us keep doing what we’re doing, just at a much larger scale. We’re hiring — join us!
In the first blog post we ever published, I wrote: “It all comes down to the images’ decisive moment. If Descartes were a photographer, his words would have probably sounded like this: “I see, therefore I am!” My pictures are my proof of existence. And my eyes are, in a matter of speaking, my tools of seeing and thus the evidence of being.”
Last month, after an incredibly insightful period of beta testing, we launched EyeEm Market in NYC, going back to where it all began for us. This is what keeps us going: Getting to hang out with our community and share what we’ve created for them — this time, it’s the chance to sell photos, get paid fairly, and retain copyright. (You can read more about Market here.)
This new funding will make Market even more powerful and help us bring it to image buyers all over the world.
We have a lot of exciting things coming up this year, including new features in the iOS & Android apps, plus several new avenues to expose your photography to even wider audiences.
EyeEm is dedicated to respecting and preserving photographer’s work and that’s what we’ll keep doing. Let’s create the future of photography, together!
Co-Founder & CEO at EyeEm