Taylor Davidson · Imaging Industry Exits

Acquisitions and IPOs in the imaging industry since 2004

Below is a list of 113 acquisitions and IPOs in the imaging industry from 2004 to today. It’s a companion resource to the Photography Industry Landscape, a strategic snapshot of the photography industry today. To access the list of exits as a Google Doc, with additional notes, click here.

First off, a couple notes and thoughts:

Why 2004?

Because there has to be a start, and because 2004 is ten years ago, and a lot changes in an industry in ten years. Stock library acquisitions dominated the lists of exits throughout the early and mid 2000s, but as Internet and mobile technology have changed the photography industry since then, the sources of value creation have shifted and the type of exits have changed as well. I’m more focused on the last 5-ish years because it’s more relevant to the future of the industry, but also wanted to show some historical perspective as well.

Why aren’t all the stock photo image acquisitions included?

Many stock image library acquisitions are included, but it’s not exhaustive. Jim Pickerell has compiled data on that on Selling Stock, and I’ve worked to include most of them, but will probably not include all of them. Why? See next question.

Why did you include blogging, messaging, and social media platforms in the exit list?

WhatsApp, Tumblr and others are not photography industry companies, agreed. But imagery has been critical to their product and an engine for their growth, and while they are not photography companies per se, I think they are important signals behind how the industry has changed and where the opportunities lie. That’s why I created an Area called "Sharing, Messaging, and Community" in the Photography Industry Landscape. So for strategic analysis purposes, let’s consider them as part of the industry.

Can you add a company that is missing, or correct some details?

Yes! Just email me.

Company Acquirer Type Area Date Price ($ mm)
FlyLabs Google Acquisition Imaging Technology 14-Nov
Linx Apple Acquisition Imaging Technology 14-Apr 20
Artifact Uprising VSCO Acquisition Prints and Products 14-Jan
Picturelife StreamNation Acquisition Consumer Photo Management 14-Jan
Fotolia Adobe Acquisition Stock Image Agency 14-Dec 800
Aviary Adobe Acquisition Infrastructure Applications 14-Sep
Jetpac Google Acquisition Image Recognition 14-Aug
Sight.io EyeEm Acquisition Image Recognition 14-Aug
MadBits Twitter Acquisition Image Recognition 14-Jul
SkyBox Imaging Google Acquisition Satellite Imaging 14-Jun 500
Dropcam Google Acquisition Video monitoring 14-Jun 555
GoPro IPO IPO Imaging Equipment 14-Jun 2,960
PhotoDrive Yahoo Acquisition Consumer Photo Management 14-Jun
Loom Dropbox Acquisition Consumer Photo Management 14-Apr
Cameo Vimeo Acquisition Editing 14-Mar
Oculus VR Facebook Acquisition Virtual reality 14-Mar 2,000
WebDam Shutterstock Acquisition Corporate Photo Management 14-Mar
WhatsApp Facebook Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 14-Feb 19,000
Wander (Days) Yahoo Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 14-Feb
Gallery Stock Trunk Archive Acquisition Stock Image Library 14-Feb
PhotoWorks Shutterfly Acquisition Prints and Products 14-Jan
Data Archive Photoshot Acquisition Corporate Photo Management 14-Jan
Replay Photos Lulu Acquisition Professional Photo Management 14-Jan
SnappyLabs Apple Acquisition Imaging Equipment 14-Jan
Ptch Yahoo Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 13-Dec 7
Quik.io Yahoo Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 13-Dec
AgStock Design Pics Acquisition Stock Image Agency 13-Nov
Familiar Evidence.com Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 13-Oct
Borrow Lenses Shutterfly Acquisition Retailers and Rentals 13-Oct
Lookflow Yahoo Acquisition Image Recognition 13-Oct
5by StumbleUpon Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 13-Sep
Luma.io Instagram Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 13-Aug
IQ Engines Yahoo Acquisition Image Recognition 13-Aug
Qwiki Yahoo Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 13-Jul 50
LiveBooks WeddingWire Acquisition Professional Photo Management 13-Jul
Go Try It On Rent the Runway Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 13-Jun
Tumblr Yahoo Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 13-May 1,100
Pixmac Pond5 Acquisition Stock Image Library 13-Mar
Kaptur AHAlife.com Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 13-Jan
Zenfolio Art.com Acquisition Professional Photo Management 13-Jan 6
Fotomoto liveBooks Acquisition E-commerce 12-Dec
Axiom Photographic Design Pics Acquisition Stock Image Agency 12-Dec
Snapjoy Dropbox Acquisition Consumer Photo Management 12-Dec
Demotix Corbis Acquisition Stock Image Agency 12-Nov
Color Apple Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 12-Oct
1000Memories Ancestry.com Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 12-Oct
Vine Twitter Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 12-Oct 30
Viewdle Google Acquisition Image recognition 12-Oct 45
Shutterstock IPO IPO Stock Image Agency 12-Oct 550
Alaska Stock Images Design Pics Acquisition Stock Image Agency 12-Oct
Cultura Image Source Acquisition Stock Image Agency 12-Oct
Pixable SingTel Acquisition Infrastructure Applications 12-Sep 27
Nik Software Google Acquisition Editing, Mobile Editing 12-Sep
Getty Carlyle Group Private Equity Stock Image Agency 12-Aug 3,300
Biosphoto Photononstop Acquisition Stock Image Agency 12-Aug
Daily Booth Airbnb Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 12-Jul
AP France dapd Media Holding Acquisition Stock Image Agency 12-Jul
Science Faction Images SuperStock Acquisition Stock Image Agency 12-Jul
Ad Stock Images Universal Image Group Acquisition Stock Image Agency 12-Jun
MyLoupe Universal Image Group Acquisition Stock Image Agency 12-Jun
Face.com Facebook Acquisition Image Recognition 12-Jun 100
Zcool, China 123RF Partnership Stock Image Agency 12-May
Lightbox.com Facebook Acquisition Consumer Photo Management 12-May
Lonely Planet Getty Acquisition Stock Image Agency 12-Apr
Instagram Facebook Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 12-Apr 715
Specialist Stock Robert Harding Imagery Acquisition Stock Image Agency 12-Mar
Wilogo.com Fotolia Acquisition Stock Image Agency 12-Mar
Latinstock Spain Cordon Press Acquisition Stock Image Agency 12-Jan
Norm Marshall Group Corbis Acquisition Stock Image Agency 12-Jan
First Light Design Pics Acquisition Stock Image Agency 11-Dec
Pacific Stock Design Pics Acquisition Stock Image Agency 11-Dec
56.com Renren Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 11-Sep
Smilebox Incredimail Acquisition E-commerce 11-Aug 40
Pixlr Autodesk Acquisition Editing 11-Jul
PittPatt Google Acquisition Image Recognition 11-Jul
Splash Media Corbis Acquisition Stock Image Agency 11-Jul
PhotoBox Photoways Acquisition Prints and Products 11-May
Reflex Stock Ingram Image Acquisition Stock Image Agency 11-May
PhotoLibrary Getty Acquisition Stock Image Agency 11-May
PicScout Getty Acquisition Image Security 11-Apr 20
Plixi ADOR Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 11-Jan 3
Pict POPSUGAR Acquisition E-commerce 11-Jan 10
Polar Rose Apple Acquisition Image Recognition 10-Sep 29
IMSense Apple Acquisition Imaging Equipment 10-Sep
Like.com Google Acquisition Image Recognition 10-Aug 100
Crestock Masterfile Acquisition Stock Image Agency 10-Jul
ShootQ Pictage Acquisition Professional Photo Management 10-Jul
Divvyshot Facebook Acquisition Consumer Photo Management 10-Mar
Picnik Google Acquisition Editing 10-Mar
Bigstock Shutterstock Acquisition Stock Image Agency 9-Sep
Tiny Pictures Shutterfly Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 9-Sep
Jupitermedia Getty Acquisition Stock Image Agency 9-Feb 96
Redferns Library Getty Acquisition Stock Image Agency 8-Dec
flauntR FotoDesk Acquisition Editing 8-Jun
Getty Hellman & Friedman Private Equity Stock Image Agency 8-Feb 2,400
Veer Corbis Acquisition Stock Image Agency 7-Nov
Fotolog Hi-media Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 7-Aug 90
Mediabistro Jupitermedia Acquisition Stock Image Agency 7-Jul
Panaramio Google Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 7-Jun
Scoopt Getty Acquisition Stock Image Agency 7-Mar
MediaVast Getty Acquisition Stock Image Agency 7-Feb 207
Shutterfly IPO IPO Prints and Products 6-Sep 350
Jumpcut Yahoo Acquisition Editing 6-Sep
Vimeo IAC Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 6-Aug
Workbookstock Jupitermedia Acquisition Stock Image Agency 6-Jun
Stockbyte Getty Acquisition Stock Image Agency 6-Apr 135
iStockPhoto Getty Acquisition Stock Image Agency 6-Feb 50
PictureArts Jupitermedia Acquisition Stock Image Agency 5-Jul 63
Australian Picture Library Corbis Acquisition Stock Image Agency 5-Jun
zefa Corbis Acquisition Stock Image Agency 5-Jun
Photonica Getty Acquisition Stock Image Agency 5-May 51
Digital Vision Getty Acquisition Stock Image Agency 5-Apr 165
Flickr Yahoo Acquisition Sharing, Messaging, and Community 5-Mar 40
Snapfish HP Acquisition Prints and Products 5-Mar 300
StockImage S.A.S. Jupitermedia Acquisition Stock Image Agency 5-Feb
image.net Getty Acquisition Stock Image Agency 4-Aug 20
Picasa Google Acquisition Consumer Photo Management 4-Jul
Comstock Jupitermedia Acquisition Stock Image Agency 4-Apr 21
Superstock A21 Acquisition Stock Image Agency 4-Mar
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Thank you to Ellen Boughn, Andrew Fingerman, John Workman, and Jim Pickerell for reviewing and adding companies to the list of exits.