Photo community and marketplace 500px has raised $13 million in new funding in a round led by strategic investor Visual China Group. The company says that it will be expanding its presence in the Greater China market while also working to grow its community of photographers.
500px said in a statement that the new funding will be used to support its rapid growth and expand its team. In addition, the company will accelerate its product development to support creative and design industries’ interest in licensing 500px images.
However, what’s perhaps most significant about this announcement is that 500px is also aiming to grow its global user base by expanding to the Greater China and Asia Pacific region. With the Visual China Group strategic partnership, the company will certainly be able to open more doors. The Visual China Group is China’s biggest visual content and solution provider and operates the country’s largest online visual content platform with catalogs from over 240 institutional image partners, including 500px, Getty Images, Reuters, and over 15,000 individual photographers.
“The 500px brand has huge potential in the Asia Pacific region with its unparalleled image quality combined with the massive community base,” says Visual China Group’s CEO Amy Liang. “In conjunction with the strategic investment and exclusive distribution partnership in China, we are happy to establish our China-specific Joint Venture with 500px to leverage their know-how and experience as well as our local foundation to rapidly expand the community business in Greater China.”
Prior to this funding, 500px was already accessible in China, but this strategic partnership will certainly boost the company’s exposure throughout this highly sought-after market.
With more than 6 million users on the site, Toronto-based 500px offers a platform for creative photographers to showcase and monetize their work. While some might compare the service to Flickr, Google+ Photos, and so on, 500x is different in that it’s specifically geared to creatives, not everyday people who snap photos. More than 55 million images have been uploaded within the past year.
Along with the Visual China Group, the company’s Series B round included participation by all the major investors from the previous investment, including Andreessen Horowitz, Harrison Metal, and ff Venture Capital. In total, 500px has raised $23 million in venture capital.