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.

CompanyAcquirerTypeAreaDatePrice ($ mm)
FlyLabsGoogleAcquisitionImaging Technology14-Nov
LinxAppleAcquisitionImaging Technology14-Apr20
Artifact UprisingVSCOAcquisitionPrints and Products14-Jan
PicturelifeStreamNationAcquisitionConsumer Photo Management14-Jan
FotoliaAdobeAcquisitionStock Image Agency14-Dec800
AviaryAdobeAcquisitionInfrastructure Applications14-Sep
JetpacGoogleAcquisitionImage Recognition14-Aug
Sight.ioEyeEmAcquisitionImage Recognition14-Aug
MadBitsTwitterAcquisitionImage Recognition14-Jul
SkyBox ImagingGoogleAcquisitionSatellite Imaging14-Jun500
DropcamGoogleAcquisitionVideo monitoring14-Jun555
GoProIPOIPOImaging Equipment14-Jun2,960
PhotoDriveYahooAcquisitionConsumer Photo Management14-Jun
LoomDropboxAcquisitionConsumer Photo Management14-Apr
CameoVimeoAcquisitionEditing14-Mar
Oculus VRFacebookAcquisitionVirtual reality14-Mar2,000
WebDamShutterstockAcquisitionCorporate Photo Management14-Mar
WhatsAppFacebookAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community14-Feb19,000
Wander (Days)YahooAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community14-Feb
Gallery StockTrunk ArchiveAcquisitionStock Image Library14-Feb
PhotoWorksShutterflyAcquisitionPrints and Products14-Jan
Data ArchivePhotoshotAcquisitionCorporate Photo Management14-Jan
Replay PhotosLuluAcquisitionProfessional Photo Management14-Jan
SnappyLabsAppleAcquisitionImaging Equipment14-Jan
PtchYahooAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community13-Dec7
Quik.ioYahooAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community13-Dec
AgStockDesign PicsAcquisitionStock Image Agency13-Nov
FamiliarEvidence.comAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community13-Oct
Borrow LensesShutterflyAcquisitionRetailers and Rentals13-Oct
LookflowYahooAcquisitionImage Recognition13-Oct
5byStumbleUponAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community13-Sep
Luma.ioInstagramAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community13-Aug
IQ EnginesYahooAcquisitionImage Recognition13-Aug
QwikiYahooAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community13-Jul50
LiveBooksWeddingWireAcquisitionProfessional Photo Management13-Jul
Go Try It OnRent the RunwayAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community13-Jun
TumblrYahooAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community13-May1,100
PixmacPond5AcquisitionStock Image Library13-Mar
KapturAHAlife.comAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community13-Jan
ZenfolioArt.comAcquisitionProfessional Photo Management13-Jan6
FotomotoliveBooksAcquisitionE-commerce12-Dec
Axiom PhotographicDesign PicsAcquisitionStock Image Agency12-Dec
SnapjoyDropboxAcquisitionConsumer Photo Management12-Dec
DemotixCorbisAcquisitionStock Image Agency12-Nov
ColorAppleAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community12-Oct
1000MemoriesAncestry.comAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community12-Oct
VineTwitterAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community12-Oct30
ViewdleGoogleAcquisitionImage recognition12-Oct45
ShutterstockIPOIPOStock Image Agency12-Oct550
Alaska Stock ImagesDesign PicsAcquisitionStock Image Agency12-Oct
CulturaImage SourceAcquisitionStock Image Agency12-Oct
PixableSingTelAcquisitionInfrastructure Applications12-Sep27
Nik SoftwareGoogleAcquisitionEditing, Mobile Editing12-Sep
GettyCarlyle GroupPrivate EquityStock Image Agency12-Aug3,300
BiosphotoPhotononstopAcquisitionStock Image Agency12-Aug
Daily BoothAirbnbAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community12-Jul
AP Francedapd Media HoldingAcquisitionStock Image Agency12-Jul
Science Faction ImagesSuperStockAcquisitionStock Image Agency12-Jul
Ad Stock ImagesUniversal Image GroupAcquisitionStock Image Agency12-Jun
MyLoupeUniversal Image GroupAcquisitionStock Image Agency12-Jun
Face.comFacebookAcquisitionImage Recognition12-Jun100
Zcool, China123RFPartnershipStock Image Agency12-May
Lightbox.comFacebookAcquisitionConsumer Photo Management12-May
Lonely PlanetGettyAcquisitionStock Image Agency12-Apr
InstagramFacebookAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community12-Apr715
Specialist StockRobert Harding ImageryAcquisitionStock Image Agency12-Mar
Wilogo.comFotoliaAcquisitionStock Image Agency12-Mar
Latinstock SpainCordon PressAcquisitionStock Image Agency12-Jan
Norm Marshall GroupCorbisAcquisitionStock Image Agency12-Jan
First LightDesign PicsAcquisitionStock Image Agency11-Dec
Pacific StockDesign PicsAcquisitionStock Image Agency11-Dec
56.comRenrenAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community11-Sep
SmileboxIncredimailAcquisitionE-commerce11-Aug40
PixlrAutodeskAcquisitionEditing11-Jul
PittPattGoogleAcquisitionImage Recognition11-Jul
Splash MediaCorbisAcquisitionStock Image Agency11-Jul
PhotoBoxPhotowaysAcquisitionPrints and Products11-May
Reflex StockIngram ImageAcquisitionStock Image Agency11-May
PhotoLibraryGettyAcquisitionStock Image Agency11-May
PicScoutGettyAcquisitionImage Security11-Apr20
PlixiADORAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community11-Jan3
PictPOPSUGARAcquisitionE-commerce11-Jan10
Polar RoseAppleAcquisitionImage Recognition10-Sep29
IMSenseAppleAcquisitionImaging Equipment10-Sep
Like.comGoogleAcquisitionImage Recognition10-Aug100
CrestockMasterfileAcquisitionStock Image Agency10-Jul
ShootQPictageAcquisitionProfessional Photo Management10-Jul
DivvyshotFacebookAcquisitionConsumer Photo Management10-Mar
PicnikGoogleAcquisitionEditing10-Mar
BigstockShutterstockAcquisitionStock Image Agency9-Sep
Tiny PicturesShutterflyAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community9-Sep
JupitermediaGettyAcquisitionStock Image Agency9-Feb96
Redferns LibraryGettyAcquisitionStock Image Agency8-Dec
flauntRFotoDeskAcquisitionEditing8-Jun
GettyHellman & FriedmanPrivate EquityStock Image Agency8-Feb2,400
VeerCorbisAcquisitionStock Image Agency7-Nov
FotologHi-mediaAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community7-Aug90
MediabistroJupitermediaAcquisitionStock Image Agency7-Jul
PanaramioGoogleAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community7-Jun
ScooptGettyAcquisitionStock Image Agency7-Mar
MediaVastGettyAcquisitionStock Image Agency7-Feb207
ShutterflyIPOIPOPrints and Products6-Sep350
JumpcutYahooAcquisitionEditing6-Sep
VimeoIACAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community6-Aug
WorkbookstockJupitermediaAcquisitionStock Image Agency6-Jun
StockbyteGettyAcquisitionStock Image Agency6-Apr135
iStockPhotoGettyAcquisitionStock Image Agency6-Feb50
PictureArtsJupitermediaAcquisitionStock Image Agency5-Jul63
Australian Picture LibraryCorbisAcquisitionStock Image Agency5-Jun
zefaCorbisAcquisitionStock Image Agency5-Jun
PhotonicaGettyAcquisitionStock Image Agency5-May51
Digital VisionGettyAcquisitionStock Image Agency5-Apr165
FlickrYahooAcquisitionSharing, Messaging, and Community5-Mar40
SnapfishHPAcquisitionPrints and Products5-Mar300
StockImage S.A.S.JupitermediaAcquisitionStock Image Agency5-Feb
image.netGettyAcquisitionStock Image Agency4-Aug20
PicasaGoogleAcquisitionConsumer Photo Management4-Jul
ComstockJupitermediaAcquisitionStock Image Agency4-Apr21
SuperstockA21AcquisitionStock Image Agency4-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.