Australian startup ImageBrief boosts investor funding to $3.2m

Australian online image marketplace startup, ImageBrief, has received a US$750,000 boost to its coffers in a funding round this week, bringing its total investor funding to date to around US$3.2 million.

Australian online image marketplace platform startup, ImageBrief, announced today it had received a US$750,000 funding round from New York investment capital firm, Great Oaks Venture Capital.

The stock image crowdsourcing startup's latest funding round, which represents the first US-based funding since it opened its New York City headquarters in early 2013, brings the privately-held company's total funding tally to US$3.2 million.

The latest funds are expected to be used to expand the company's product team to help it keep pace with its rapid growth, according to CEO and co-founder, Simon Moss.

"At ImageBrief we are experiencing explosive growth having more than doubled our revenues in the last six months alone," said Moss. "We appreciate Great Oaks' support of our game-changing, commercial photography marketplace, and the opportunity it presents to recruit additional high-level, New York City-based engineering talent."

Great Oaks' funding injection follows a US$700,000 investment from Square Peg's Paul Bassat and Justin Liberman in March last year that saw the company claim around US$2.2 million in funding.

ImageBrief was founded in Australia in 2011, and launched in February 2013 from the headquarters in New York City into which it had moved.

According to the company, every professional photographer and contributed photograph it receives is curated by in-house editors, with more than 18,000 photographers in 168 countries having now signed on to sell original photographs to over 5,000 image buyers at advertising agencies, brands and publishers.

For Ben Lin, managing partner at Great Oaks, ImageBrief's model empowers both photographers and image buyers simultaneously.

"ImageBrief has taken the traditional photo licensing agency that provides one-on-one curation and licensing services and scaled it to enable thousands of buyers to simultaneously purchase and license original images they could not otherwise purchase online," said Lin. "It's a brilliant model that provides a real win-win for both photographers and image buyers, and this is why we’re proud to be adding ImageBrief to our portfolio."

ImageBrief's US funding comes as Australia's startup community laments the federal government's support for Australian innovation in the sector, after the 2014-15 Federal Budget revealed massive cuts to programs designed to encourage tech startups' development in the country.

On the chopping block were Commercialisation Australia (CA), which has provided more than AU$200 million in funding to local startups, and the Innovation Investment Fund (IIF), which connects startups with venture capital.