It’s been a productive few months for 500px, the popular Toronto-based photo community powered by creative people.
Last month they raised a massive $8.8 million Series A funding round from Andreessen Horowitz and Harrison Metal. Even before that the company had increased its community by over 150 percent in less than a year, to 2.5 million photographers. It now gets over a billion page views and API request per monthacross the platform.
Today the company has brought on a few “tech heavy hitters” as executives. Andy Yang joins as their new COO, formerly the managing director of Extreme Startups. Meanwhile Patrick Lor comes on as a new board member. Lor formerly cofounded iStock Photo, the company that exited for $50 million nearly a decade ago.
Yang, previously of Netflix, Chegg, Goldman Sachs and Accenture, made a big dent in the Canadian startup world through his work at Extreme Startups. There the former managing director oversaw three successful cohorts of startups, including such names as Shoplocket, Picatic, Instaradio and Koge Vitamins.
“Andy brings a depth of strategic and business management expertise to 500px,” read a release. “He’ll be overseeing company’s operations, financial direction, and growth and strengthening organizational policies and processes.”
Meanwhile Lor is well known for cofounding the immensely popular iStock Photo, which was acquired by Getty Images in 2004. After that Lor moved on to start Dissolve, a stock footage company that helps brands tell better stories with video. As a director Lor will help with the commercial licensing marketplace that 500px is expected to roll out in the New Year.
Lor had some nice things to say about the startup that he is now helping. “500px is one of the most beautiful sites on the Internet,” he said. “People spend hours browsing amazing images and soaking in the creative inspiration from the community. Evgeny and Oleg and their team have an opportunity to disrupt the commercial photo space and help photographers earn a lot more money from their work. I’m excited to help 500px execute on this goal.”
In “Evgeny”, Lor is referring to founder Evgeny Tchebotarev, who moves on to the role of chief product officer. “He will supervise the product teams as they innovate and improve current offerings and create new products that add value for photographers.”
Finally Renat Gataullin, one of the early partners in the company, rejoins as CTO. A serial entrepreneur, Gataullin recently graduated from the prestigious Y Combinator Accelerator program in Silicon Valley. As CTO, he’ll map the platform’s development and ensuring its ability to quickly scale amid expansion.
Cofounder Oleg Gutsol said that “big ideas demand big thinkers”. “We’ve assembled a team of bright, innovative leaders who will help us push the boundaries of 500px as we work to achieve our goal of being the best photographer-centred platform in the world.”
500px has been so impressive mainly because the company hardly tried to monetize before it meteoric rise and subsequent huge series A round. The photo licensing space has long been an industry with a fairly straightforward business model and a straight path to make money.
Founded in 2009, the company “has grown to become the premier platform with the highest quality photography worldwide.”