Less than a month after announcing a $6m funding round, Florian Meissner, one of the founders of Berlin-based photo sharing app EyeEm, has the right to be in good spirits. Along with cofounders Lorenz Aschoff, Gen Sadakane, Ramzi Rizk and the EyeEm team, he’s trying to build the world’s “first mobile photography community and marketplace” – and, having already attracted over eight million downloads, things are looking positive for the company.
The app’s viral downloads and first proof of its business model helped convince new investors Earlybird Venture Capital, plus EyeEm’s existing investors Wellington Partners and Passion Capital, to provide the company with its latest funding round. Now, the startup is putting more of a focus on monetising its service by allowing brands to crowd-source images from its community.
So far, EyeEm has already worked with Lufthansa, Red Bull and Vice – it wants to prove that brand photography doesn’t need to come from professional photographers with high-tech equipment but can also be shot by your average, smartphone-wielding citizen. Meissner tells us that stock photography is roughly a $12bn market, which leaves enough space for his startup to compete against established online players such as Shutterstock and Flickr.
We caught up with Meissner after his talk at last week’s Tech Open Air conference to find out how he discovered he’s better suited at connecting photographers than working as one and why failing every day can still mean your startup is successful…