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Former Apple designer nabs fresh funding to make photoblogging on the iPad a delight

Image Credit: Storehouse

Storehouse is an iPad app and service that could be called “the Medium for visual stories.” It’s simple, visually pleasing, and enables the creation of amazing work in longform.

And despite launching this past January, it has already raised a new $7 million round of funding.

Storehouse, much like Medium and other blogging platforms, lets people create posts, usually heavy on the visuals (photos, videos) and with some text. Content can only be created on an iPad, though posts can be shared and viewed via web links (a responsive webpage is automatically generated when a post is published), and users can follow others, browse others’ work, and create their own blogs for a variety of purposes, from school reports to showcasing photography work.

“There’s been a lot of platforms for blogging, and for photo and video-sharing but they’ve all been centered around one piece of content,” said cofounder and chief executive Mark Kawano in an interview with VentureBeat. He and cofounder Timothy Donnelly, formerly of iPad-only publication The Daily, created Storehouse explicitly for longer pieces — stories, as they call them.

Kawano has been a leading designer at Adobe, Frog, and most recently at Apple, where he worked on Aperture and iPhoto among other projects, and eventually became the company’s user experience evangelist, working on its design guidelines and consulting on various projects.

He met Donnelly while he was consulting for his employer, The Daily, and the two discovered aligning philosophies and goals around media and the shift to mobile.

Although photoblogging (and general blogging) is nothing new, and companies such as Medium, Exposure, WordPress, and everyone in between have been building similar products, Storehouse believes its focus on reimagining publishing on the iPad makes it different.

“[I] came across a lot of content companies taking [different] approaches to mobile. They were just kind of putting it on the iPad. I saw an opportunity to have people think about this device post-PC,” said Kawano.

Since launch, the team has been slowly growing the community and improving the product. It recently added a commenting feature, which Kawano said was very well received by the community.

It’s also been seeing a lot of interest from brands and professionals in creative fields. Fashion brand Alice + Olivia, for example, has created dynamic lookbooks through Storehouse. A Pulitzer Prize winning photographer has created narratives with his work. Kawano pointed out that there are no formal partnerships, and brands and professionals organically find and use Storehouse.

Monetization and revenue are not on the horizon yet, and the team will use this new funding boost to continue to build its team, product, and community.

Sherpa Ventures led the round, and current backers True Ventures, Lerer Ventures, Designer Fund, and some angel investors also contributed to this first institutional funding round. 

Storehouse was founded in 2013 and is based in San Francisco.

 

 

 

More about the companies and people from this article:

Lerer Ventures is a seed stage venture capital fund. We invest in founders in the earliest stages of a startup's life. We respect and seek out entrepreneurs with product vision, consumer insight, focused execution, and unwavering ambit... read more »

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