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Shutterstock buys photo editor for US$110m

Leading stock photo agency, Shutterstock, has paid a whopping US$110 million for web-based photo editor, PicMonkey, with plans to create an an end-to-end ‘suite of solutions’ for digital content creators.

Since dishing out a major pay cut to contributors in mid-2020, the publicly-traded company’s share price has skyrocketed by over 200 percent. In June 2020 Shutterstock’s share price was hanging around US$35 on the New York Stock Exchange, and has since jumped to US$111.07 with a market capitalisation of US$4.07 billion. Who said there was no money to be made in stock photography?!

Strong financial performance has been backed up by new growth initiatives. Shutterstock has been expanding its editorial operations to heat up the competition with Getty Images, launching numerous new software integrations and partnerships, toying with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and sealing the deal on acquisitions. The latest, and by far most expensive, is this relatively small Seattle-based start-up, PicMonkey, which employs around 50 people.

Founded in 2012, PicMonkey offers users a series of user-friendly photo and graphic design editing tools through an online platform. It’s similar to leading Australian web-based graphic design platform, Canva.

According to the press release, PicMonkey offers users ‘photo editing, effects, touch-up tools, brand kits, cloud storage video, animations, and multi-page for creators, solopreneurs, social marketers, marketing professionals, pro designers and casual creatives’. Solopreneus? That’s a new one.

Prior to acquisition, PicMonkey had stock photography available via partnerships with Unsplash and iStock.

Shutterstock projects annual revenues to increase by three percent and it will welcome aboard 200,000 new subscribers (customers).

‘Content is at the core of Shutterstock’s offering, and selecting an asset is just one step of the creative process. A key element of Shutterstock’s strategy and vision is providing a suite of solutions for the entire creative journey, regardless of experience or expertise level,’ said Stan Pavlovsky, CEO at Shutterstock. ‘PicMonkey’s easy-to-use design and editing tools, collaboration features across teams, and robust library of pre-designed templates makes professional publishing assets accessible at scale to anyone, and is expected to allow Shutterstock to enhance and accelerate the delivery of our vision for our customers around the world.’

By introducing image editing tools into its offering, Shutterstock looks to be taking a leaf out of Adobe’s book, which has natively integrated Adobe Stock into its Creative Cloud software subscriptions. Earlier this year Shutterstock acquired 3D content marketplace, TurboSquid, for US$75 million.

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