Wemark is shutting down
Two years ago we started an incredible journey, aiming to help content creators to reclaim their lost revenue and power. Today, we regret to announce that this journey will end much sooner than expected. New signups, image uploads, and purchases will be disabled starting today.
We’ve started Wemark with a very ambitious goal — bring the power back to creators. The current system for content licensing is broken — artists and creators are being constantly exploited by platforms and agencies. The middleman takes full control and most of the revenue while leaving artists with pennies on the dollar. We wanted to change this.
To achieve this, we’ve built a passionate and talented team, joined forces with incredible advisors and early partners, and embarked on this inspiring journey. We had a clear vision and exciting plans for the future, and we needed to raise enough money to execute them. To do so, we launched our dedicated marketplace token (WMK) and raised approx. 7,500 ETH from early backers in 66 different countries.
As a result of the ongoing market crash during the token sale, we’ve raised less than our hard cap, but it should have been more than sufficient to fund the first years of operation and allow the company to comfortably raise new funds later on and keep growing.
When we started, Israeli companies had very few options for converting cryptocurrencies to fiat money (USD/EUR) and storing it safely. As we prepared to our token sale, we spent the time to review all the options and completed setting up the infrastructure required in order to convert the funds as we receive them.
However, shortly after we started the token sale, and due to a sequence of unfortunate events beyond our control, several financial institutions that were involved in this process were no longer an option, and we had to find alternatives. Unfortunately, the timing wasn’t on our side. By the time we were focused on solving this problem, the ongoing market crash has already erased the majority of the USD value of the funds we raised just a few weeks earlier.
This has created a different reality for us. We’ve cut any nonessential expenses, delayed large parts of our plans, decreased the size of the team and tried to convert as little ETH as we could, waiting for the market to recover.
As the bear market has stayed for much longer than we expected, eventually, we had to convert all the funds we raised to cover our ongoing operations. In order to keep the company going and follow through our original plans, we had to shift our focus, time and energy to fundraising.
We were still able to launch our marketplace early this year, with a fast-growing community of experienced photographers. We released two major product updates since then, including smart search filters, credit card payments, advanced content review system to onboard creators in scale, and lots of improvements in user experience.
Unfortunately — all of this wasn’t enough. Despite a few advanced processes with VC’s and angel investors, none of our fundraising efforts have turned into actual investments and the company remained with no funds or resources.
As we’re no longer able to maintain the platform, starting today — all new signups, image uploads, and purchases will be disabled. Users would still be able to log in to their account until the marketplace will eventually shut down completely.
This is undoubtedly an extremely sad day for us. The decision to shut down the platform was probably the hardest we have ever made. However, we’re also grateful — for everything we’ve accomplished so far, and even more so — to everyone involved in this not-so-long but incredible journey. Firstly, our beloved team and advisory board, and the incredible community of early supporters in our token sale. We are also thankful for the thousands of photographers who signed up, which along with our devoted content partners — created one of the fastest-growing stock photo collections in history. And, of course, to our early customers who chose Wemark for their creative needs and supported our cause.
We’ve fought hard and given everything to end this journey in a completely different way. What the future holds? We’re optimistic and believe that artists and creators will eventually regain their power. Even though Wemark will no longer be part of this change, we can only hope that our early efforts will have a meaningful impact on the next attempts to “break the wheel”.
Once again — we want to thank everyone who contributed to our cause. Despite the way it ends, we’re more than grateful for all the trust and support we received from our community during this entire journey — Thank you!