Paul Murphy, the COO of Aviary, has joined Betaworks as its Entrepreneur in Residence. According to a post on Murphy’s personal blog, he’ll advise the pseudo-incubator’s companies, particularly in the newest class which includes Digg.
Murphy has worked for the last decade at Microsoft, but is an entrepreneur at heart: He started a CMS software company called Telejet out of college 10 years ago, growing it to 20 employees before winding it down. He’ll remain an advisor to Aviary.
He joined Aviary around a year ago, when the photo editing software company underwent a pivot. The company was founded five years ago, originally positioned as a consumer-facing replacement for Photoshop. When that proved difficult, the company pivoted to its current iteration, a B2B provider of photo editing tools. Co-founder Michael Galpert stepped back, and Murphy, whose B2B background as a Business Development director and Chief of Staff for Microsoft was more relevant, stepped in as COO.
Since then Aviary has pulled through what could have been an ugly pivot. Users of the B2B tools grew to 11 million in 10 months, with 150 million photos edited a month. The company launched a partnership with Flickr, replacing Picnik as the photo site’s editing tool, as well as several larger unannounced deals I’ve heard murmurs of. Five of the top 20 photo apps in the iOS app store use Aviary tools. The company raised a new $6 million round of funding in June, bringing its total to $17 million.
However, this is the second big departure this year from Aviary. Earlier this year Alex Taub, head of business development, left to join Dwolla, the payments company based in Iowa.