Shutterstock’s rival and younger New York neighbor, Pond5, has just announced a walloping $61 million Series A cash injection.
Product managers toiling away in tech firms across the US may like to know how a company which hitherto raised only $500k in seed funding back in 2008 came to bag such a mighty new investment. Launched in 2006, three years after its chief competitor Shutterstock, Pond5’s alternative in the digital media and video world is its user-driven digital marketplace which provides a panoply of digital content in formats ranging from stock video, photos, music and special effects, to AdobeAfterEffects and more.
Pond5 invites media creators to upload the fruits of their creative endeavors and set their own price tags. As business savvy product managers will quickly note, that’s a model which leaves price control almost completely to the buyers and sellers participating in the online marketplace. All Pond5 does is provide the digital venue.
Commenting on the startup’s massive new funding round, CEO Tom Bennett told TechCrunch journalist Jordan Crook that Pond5 was now profitable. He said that it had been able to hold off on additional investment until now because the team chose to grow the business more slowly and “that is more robust and organic.” He added:
“With regards to any future financings, we haven’t made a determination one way or another whether we’ll go down that path, but we decided a long time ago that at all points in time we would have the option of a sustainable, profitable business that doesn’t require external funding.”
With headquarters in New York’s Fifth Avenue and additional offices in Prague and Geneva, Pond5 can now claim bragging rights to over 15 million digital media clips created by 30,000 artists coming from 127 countries. And, it claims, its 2.7 million videos constitute the biggest royalty-free video archive on the Net.
From its modest beginnings, the startup now employs a workforce of 70, most of them between New York and Prague offices. And that’s a number that’s set to rise very shortly: the new investment will be used to double it, as well as to add more content, build out the product and market the company’s services.
Even the most hard-boiled product manager would have to agree that Pond5’s is an impressive success story.