The growth is increasingly driven by mobile photo startups with $466M since the start of 2008 going to mobile-oriented firms.
Nothing like headlines about a billion dollar acquisition to keep venture capitalists excited. And so almost a year after Facebook closed its acquisition of Instagram, venture capital investors are still piling money into photo startups.
In 2013 year-to-date, investment into Internet and mobile companies specializing in photo capabilities and technologies has hit $192M across 67 deals. These firms range from photo marketplaces to image commerce platforms to photo editing tools. Just in the past two months, 10 different photo start-ups received venture funding ranging from Chinese mobile photo app company Camera360 which raised an $18M Series B round to Cluster Labs which raised a seed round in August from investors including Google Ventures and First Round Capital.
Of course, there have been mishaps in the photo space. The most infamous calamity coming from Color Labs which raised over $40 million in venture capital and then sold assets to Apple last fall. But such is the nature of the venture game. In particular, investors are keen on photo-oriented companies with a mobile focus. Between 2008 and 2011, investments to the mobile photo category totaled $134M. Since then, total funding to the space has hit over $460M.
The chart below highlights the accelerating rate of funding to mobile-oriented photo startups. Clearly, the internet is no longer where it is at when it comes to photos.