Six years after Getty bought iStockPhoto for $ 50 million, it looks like the microstock photography sector, in which pro-amateur photographers sell their pictures on commission through online marketplaces, is getting a second exposure.
- Fotolia, which claims to stock 17 million images for re-use by publishers, is taking a $ 150 million investment from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
- That announcement Wednesday appears prompted by rival Shutterstock having lodged an IPO filing to raise $ 115 million on Monday.
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Fotolia previously took between $ 50 and $ 100 million from TA Associates, TechCrunch reported in 2009. The FT reports KKR’s investment buys it half of the firm.
“This is a market that will consolidate,” KKR’s European media investment head Philipp Freise tells the paper, adding KKR may use Fotalia as a vehicle for further acquisition.
Shutterstock, in its IPO filing, cites BCC Research as projecting the stock photography market to be worth $ 5.1 billion by 2013.
It made a $ 21.8 million profit on $ 120.2 million revenue from more than 550,000 active customers – that user count is 71 percent up from 2010, and Shutterstock served 58 million paid downloads.
Founded by French-born Russian Tscheltzoff, Fotolia, with a largely European executive team, is especially strong in Europe, where it last year acquired France-based Wilogo, a microstock upload sales site for logo designers.
Disclosure: paidContent uses images from Shutterstock, including the one on this page, taken by Douglas Freer.
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