EyeEm’s first acquisition & how it kicks it off

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Photo sharing app EyeEm is mentioned among big players like SoundCloud as famous Berlin startups. While it’d be easy to call it “Europe’s Instagram”, it differs in many ways, e.g. how it engages with its users and how it monetizes.

Engagement & Content

With the iOS update that hit the iTunes Store last week along with the discover feature and friend’s photos, the so-called “missions” were put into focus.

Teaming up with companies like foursquare, Amnesty International, and Lufthansa Japan, EyeEm offers missions users can participate in. Often, users can win prizes or be featured. Missions are e.g. called “Where do you swarm”, “Open Your Eyes for Amnesty International”, “Around the world by Lufthansa” or, a new one, “The EyeEm Breakfast Club”.

As you can image, all missions target different kinds of photographs: food, nature, humans, etc.

This is EyeEm’s move to not only connect with the community, but also to get specific content.

Monetization: EyeEm Market

Great content is important to EyeEm as the EyeEm Market is already in beta and will let users sell pictures by the end of the year. Though details are not published yet, it’s public that EyeEm will ask for 50% of the selling price.

EyeEm already partners with the stock photo agency Getty Images, whereas of now more than 28,000 images from EyeEm are published and on sale.

Aquiring sight.io

To increase the quality of the photos, EyeEm bought sight.io, it announced on Friday. “Sight.io is the first company to use ‘computer vision’ to rate images based on beauty,” EyeEm states.

Along with the acquisition came Sight.io’s founder Appu Shaji, who joins EyeEm as Head of Research and Development.

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Sight.io’s founder Appu Shaji (via blog.eyeem.com)

International hires in the past 4 month

EyeEm is on its way up. Apart from Shaji, the team just announced the hiring of Drew Olanoff (Communications Director) and Markus Spiering (Chief Product Officer & GM US) – former yahoo and flickr employees.

They are, according to Spiering’s EyeEm’s account, currently on office space hunt in San Francisco.

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A year ago, EyeEm raised $6 million. It has now about 50 employees in Berlin’s office.

The framework seems right, and it is now a question of how fast the startup can get going with the Market. The acquisition of sight.io should help to secure a high quality.

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Images: Markus Spiering, EyeEm