AI photography startup Skylab acquired by ImageQuix

Skylab develops AI-powered tools designed to streamline the photo editing process.

Vancouver-based AI photo processing startup Skylab has been acquired by Raleigh, North Carolina-based ImageQuix, which offers software solutions to professional photographers. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Skylab was co-founded in 2018 by CEO TJ Rak, a photographer with 15 years of industry experience, and director of machine learning Alireza Shafaei. The startup develops AI-powered retouching tools for photographers designed to streamline the editing process while delivering higher quality results compared to traditional human editing.

“I’m so proud of the work we’ve done to develop a tool that’s affordable, accessible, and reduces production time by 90 percent.”

In a statement, CEO of ImageQuix Alex Kovacevic said the two companies have worked in “close partnership” since 2020, adding that the combined entity is hoped to drive greater efficiency and revenue for ImageQuix’s studio customers. 

“Skylab’s focus on developing innovative technology in an intuitive and user-friendly way is unmatched and will provide immense value to all of our customers moving forward,” Kovacevic added.

In 2019, Skylab launched its first colour, crop, and retouch products, and in 2020, was admitted into the UBC Hatch program and UC Berkeley Skydeck programs. The startup went on to grow its product offerings to include glare removal and video services. Skylab claims to have processed over 125 million images to date.

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ImageQuix offers a suite of workflow management and e-commerce tools for high-volume photography businesses. The company, also founded in 2018, recently acquired Fotomerchant, which is also a workflow solution targeted to high-volume photography studios.

“When Alireza and I met while he was in the University of British Columbia Computer Science PhD program, I knew that my background in high-volume photography and his brilliance in machine learning would lead to great things,” said Rak. “I’m so proud of the work we’ve done to develop a tool that’s affordable, accessible, and reduces production time by 90 percent.” 

Feature image courtesy Skylab.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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