On Thursday, the image editing app PicsArt, announced it raised $15 million from Insight Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital in its latest round of funding.
The San Francisco based startup PicArt is a leading mobile creative image community for amateur and professional photographers, designers and artists. It allows its users to edit photos by adding filters, special effects, drawing and text call-outs. The app allows its users to use the basic features for free but charges extra for specialty fonts, clip art, frames and other items. Recently, the app enables a community collaboration with its latest feature update. With it #freetoedit images from the app can be shared on Facebook, allowing a new community to use PicsArt’s desktop-grade tools to edit the pictures.
PicsArt users can also share their creative works with other using the automatically generated time-lapse videos. One can showcase the editing technique for others to learn with the videos. These latest tools would not only promote the app to other but also encourage others to learn other editing techniques and co-create with them.
PicArt has already raised $10 million from Sequoia Capital few months back which the new investment followed. The company plans to use the new funding to grow globally and develop new tools for users.
“We want to continuously provide artists with the means to connect and collaborate,” said Hovhannes Avoyan, the CEO and founder of PicsArt. He also added, “With this round of funding we continue to do so with app updates that boost collaboration settings, such as video generation, increased sharing and the latest photo-enhancing tricks.” “PicsArt’s rapid growth is a true testament to its unique creative platform,” said Jeff Horing, managing director at Insight Venture Partners. “We are pleased to partner with the PicsArt team as they continue to set themselves apart by solidifying a community of collaboration,” he added.
The apps works to connect members with Photography and Arts Contests, quite similar to Instagram’s Weekend Hashtag Projects. The various contests are drawing challenges (#DC), graphic design projects (#GD) and weekend art projects (#WAP).
The app may be similar to Flickr and Instagram but the company denies it saying they are different. Because their app focuses on the creative process of editing the picture and not just posting pictures like the other two apps. The company claims that deeper video integration is also in works. Wilson Kriegel, Chief Business Development Officer of PicArt said, “We deliver a single value proposition, supporting all creatives in a simplistic way. Instead of a singular functionality, we brought a suite of tools and a community around it.” That looks into how the startup makes money and organizes the community. One way it makes money through the contests it organizes and other way is through the install ads and sponsored contents.
The app downloads have increased more than 230 million times and has a community of active users more than 65 million per month. 80% of the 65 million users are on Google’s operating system Android, which served as first platform during the app’s initial launch.