Toronto-based Flashstock raises $1.5 million to double 50-person team

Toronto-based Flashstock, which provides custom photos and videos for brands, has raised $1.5 million in funding from angel investors.

FlashStock received its latest round of funding from angel investors like Bill Campbell, former CEO of Citigroup and Operating Partner of Vedanta Capital; and Chris Burggraeve, former CMO of AB InBev and one of FlashStock’s first investors and current board member. The company plans to use the funding to double employee headcount from 50 to 100 by the first quarter of 2017.

“We believe investing in good people and being a capital efficient company is key to growth. We anticipate and are on track to tripling our growth every year so it is important for us to plan ahead and build our talent pipeline; waiting to hire only when something needs fixing would be limiting ourselves,” said Grant Munro, CEO of FlashStock.

Flashstock has raised a total of $3 million to date, and past investors include former Facebook VP of sales Tom Arrix and LinkedIn veteran Jonathan Lister.

Munro says that the current full-service agency model isn’t sustainable as marketers work in a visual-heavy social media landscape that includes Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter. “For today’s biggest brands, it is important to think about re-engineering their vendor system for custom visual content procurement in order to keep up with the visual content race,” Munro said. “Marketing budgets are getting squeezed and brands are moving towards a technology-driven solution. FlashStock solves marketers’ dissatisfaction with rifling through endless stock photos, only to find the same photo being used by a competing brand. Each brand is unique and valuable brands continue to bring their unique brand stories to life through one-of-a-kind photos and videos captured by FlashStock’s global network of creative social media savvy contributors.”

Munro also notes that in less than three years, Flashstock has achieved 380 percent YoY growth, and is cashflow positive. With Flashstock, brands can leverage Flashstock’s network of freelancers — which spans over 200 markets worldwide — to receive customized content. Flashstock works with clients to get an idea of brand identity and strategy, and promises to deliver customized content and video in two to three weeks. Flashstock currently counts brands like L’Oreal, Samsung, Mcdonald’s, Unilever, and Visa among its customers.

Currently, FlashStock is hiring for positions in engineering, client success, marketing, and sales as part of its massive hiring spree. The company is also looking for creatives to join its international network of contributors.