High quality photo-sharing service 500px has raised $8.8 million in its first round of funding, with hopes to make 500px a bigger brand and to expand in the U.S. and internationally.

Toronto-based 500px lets people discover, share, buy, and sell premium phototography. For years, it has differentiated itself from services like Yahoo’s Flickr and Google’s Picasa by offering these high-quality photos with backing from a passionate community of pro and amateur photographers. 500px has 2.5 million users and claims to attract more than a billion page views each month.

The new round was led by Andreessen Horowitz and Harrison Metal, with participation by Creative Artists Agency, Rugged Ventures, Dustin Plett, and ff Venture Capital.

“500px is all about building and empowering a passionate community of photographers and creating an amazing platform for them to display, share and sell their work,” Andreessen Horowitz partner Jeff Jordan said in a statement. “In doing so, they’ve created one of the most beautiful online sites in the world and one that’s enjoying eye-opening user growth and engagement. We’re happy to be part of the team and look forward to supporting their efforts to build 500px into one of the world’s leading photography brands.”

The new funding will also help 500px hire more staff. It will be opening a new office in the Bay Area and intends to hire developers, designers, and brand managers to fill out its team.

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