Eye Em is a photo editing and photo sharing community based in Berlin. Users can choose from seventeen filters and twelve frames when editing their photos and share them on five social networks, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr and Flickr.
10 million users and six figure funding
The app offers over 10 million users an opportunity to interact and meet each other. The EyeEm team received several rounds of six figure funding from Venture Capitalists over the last year and was named one of Forbes ‘Hottest Global Startups’ in 2013 and won Best Mobile Startup at the Europas 2014.
PR Manager Sven Ole Schubert spoke to WebMagazin about the successful photography app.
WM: Tell us about EyeEm, what is your mission?
Sven Ole: Back when we started we felt there is a need for a new platform to enable this new generation of smartphone photographers to connect and let them do more than just sharing images. That’s why we decided to build this platform and founded EyeEm in 2011. The company was founded in Berlin in 2011 by photo-enthusiasts Florian Meissner, Lorenz Aschoff, Ramzi Rizk and Gen Sadakane.
Today more than 10 million people enjoy EyeEm to capture, enhance, share and discover beautiful images, to meet inspiring people and improve their skills.
Earn money with EyeEm
And we also want to enable photographers to earn money with their images. That’s why we will start the EyeEm Market later this year, but already there are thousands of images by EyeEm photographers available at Getty Images due to our cooperation we announced earlier this year.
From a broader perspective I’d say, supported by cutting-edge technology, our vision is to take photography and image search to the next level, letting you visually explore the world around you in new and unexpected ways.
WM: EyeEm is competing with a lot of other photography apps – what makes EyeEm special?
Sven Ole: I think people are well aware that we care as much about photography as about our community. We connect people way beyond their social networks. Here, photographers don’t just shoot and share, but they like to meet inspiring people, they want to improve their skills, and some of them aim to earn money by selling their images at the future EyeEm Market.
Photographers come to EyeEm for the fun, yes – but also because they are passionate about images and they want to be part of this new world of photography made possible by all this evolving technology. Here, you really get recognized for your work, collecting praise and followers in a way which in turn inspires you to aim even higher, to get even better. At the same time you can immerse yourself in the works of other photographers.
And regarding to content and technology: the online photo market is full of low quality snapshots of mundane life events getting lost on social networks and sinking into a digital oblivion, EyeEm is, in contrast, all about authentic, intelligently searchable imagery.
WM: What stage of development are you in and how are you being funded?
Sven Ole: We’re growing intensely. We increased our download numbers tenfold last year and we are now at more than 10 million. More than a third of the EyeEm team joined the company this year, and we’re still hiring, be it engineers, developers, product or design professionals who are passionate about photography.
$6 Million from Earlybird Venture Capital
The founding team has received an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Passion Capital and Pan-European Venture Capital fund Wellington Partners. This was followed by a $6m funding round from Earlybird Venture Capital in 2013, with existing investors Wellington Partners and Passion Capital contributing to the round.
WM: What would you say makes EyeEm stand out in the Berlin startup scene?
Sven Ole: We are part of a very lively, networked and professional scene of young companies here in Berlin. We’re all reaching out to a global audience and we are successful at it. Just look at the recent „The Europas“ awards show in London which as the organizers say celebrate the most forward thinking, progressive and innovative tech companies in Europe. With SoundCloud, Startupbootcamp, ZenMate, Babbel, and EyeEm there were a lot of award winners which are located in Berlin.
WM: Finally, why Berlin?
Sven Ole: Berlin is still very attractive for young talents. You have a big pool of English speaking developers, engineers, and designers not just from all of Europe but from all over the world.
There is constant networking, and a dynamic scene of start-ups and young companies. Against the backdrop of a diverse urban culture, Berlin is a very appealing hub for founders and creatives, and definitely one of the best cities to found a company. A lot has changed in recent years though. While you still have this cliché of people sitting around in cafés with their laptops planning projects, the start-up scene really got its act together and works totally professional now. A growing numbers of VC companies have discovered the city and its founders and they invest a lot in ideas, people, and companies. If you ́ve got a great idea, and you ́re determined and go on pursuing your goals no matter what, if you stay passionate and positive then you can make it in Berlin.
Featured image: © EyeEm