Pond5 CEO Tom Bennett wouldn’t disclose the terms of the deal, but he says the acquisition of Pixmac’s assets will help the company become more global while beefing up its photos offering. Pond5 especially liked that Pixmac has a network of 20 different domains for different countries, and provides its services in 17 languages. The company was founded in the Czech Republic in 2008 and has 244,000 registered users and more than 10 million photos.
Until recently, Pond5 has specialized in being a marketplace for multimedia content, such as video, music, sound effects, and 3D graphics. It started offering still images a couple of years ago, but the vast majority of them have come from partners and are not directly uploaded to the site by content owners. The addition of images to the site puts Pond5 more squarely into competition with giants such as Getty Images and Shutterstock.
These days, it’s important to offer a full range of royalty-free content types for media makers, says Bennett. “We see photos as one of any number of types of media that creators these days don’t really differentiate between.”
Both Pond5 and Pixmac take what they call an artist-friendly approach in which they let artists set the price for specific pieces of content, and then they split the revenues 50/50. Shutterstock, by comparison, pays artists between 20 percent and 30 percent of each sale.
Pond5 launched in 2006 as a pure play video marketplace, and took a seed round of $500,000 in 2008. Since then, it has effectively been a bootstrapped operation. Today it claims more than 280,000 registered users, 10,000 contributors, and 100,000 buyers. Bennett says the company is profitable and is “approaching a $10 million run rate in terms of revenues.”
The Pixmac team of five full-time employees will remain in Prague, and Pond5 will use the office as its European node. The company plans to hire in Prague and in New York City.
[Photo, kind of ironically, from Flickr user genericface]