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Inkitt, a ‘reader powered’ book publisher, raises $3.9M to discover the next best-selling author

Array ( [post_title] => Inkitt, a ‘reader powered’ book publisher, raises $3.9M to discover the next best-selling author [post_content] =>

Inkitt, which bills itself as “the world’s first reader-powered book publisher,” has raised $3.9 million in pre-series A funding, in a round led by Redalpine, with Frontline Ventures, Speedinvest and a number of private investors also participating. The Berlin-based startup is part writing and reading community, and part publishing house, with one aspect feeding the other.

Let me explain.

The Inkitt online community consists of a forum to post writing work in-progress and get feedback, and to solicit support for things like editing and plot development. However, a major focus — and key to the startup’s unique publishing model — is the beta readers section.

Here Inkitt members are encouraged to post full manuscripts to be read by the app’s over a million readers. This is a way to get reader reviews and further feedback, but can also lead to a publishing deal with Inkitt itself if the reader engagement data the company collects points to a potential best-seller.

“We analyse reader behaviour, analyse their engagement,” Inkitt founder Ali Albazaz tells me. “If they start reading and stay up all night to continue reading, if they use every break during the day to continue reading your story, we look at this reader behaviour in order to see if a book is good or not good”.

In addition, since Inkitt employs Facebook log in, the startup has demographic data on its readers and this, says Albazaz, puts it in a position to be able to make decisions very objectively. “If we see that the metrics are great, we offer the author a publishing deal,” he says, which covers ebooks, print, audio books, movie rights, and merchandise rights.

To date, the company has published 24 books, of which 22 have become Amazon best sellers. “We are basically a full publishing house but without acquisition editors,” says Albazaz. “Inkitt is about author equality not about what you have done before or the network you have. Three years later we are proving that our approach works. We are able to predict best sellers with incredible accuracy”.

Meanwhile, Albazaz regards Inkitt’s most direct competitor as Chuangshi by Tencent, a large fiction site in China. “It is our main global competition, but also our main proof point for a successful data-driven fiction publisher. Tencent’s service focuses exclusively on China,” he says.

Otherwise, the Inkitt founder reckons that, with the exception of Amazon, few publishing houses work extensively with data science or use online to its full potential. Instead they still rely on gut-level decision-making by literary agents who in turn pitch a publisher where an editor ultimately decides whether or not a work is sellable.

[post_excerpt] =>

Inkitt, which bills itself as “the world’s first reader-powered book publisher,” has raised $3.9 million in pre-series A funding, in a round led by Redalpine, with Frontline Ventures, Speedinvest and a number of private investors also participating. The Berlin-based startup is part writing and reading community, and part publishing house, with one aspect feeding the other.

Let me explain.

The Inkitt online community consists of a forum to post writing work in-progress and get feedback, and to solicit support for things like editing and plot development. However, a major focus — and key to the startup’s unique publishing model — is the beta readers section.

Here Inkitt members are encouraged to post full manuscripts to be read by the app’s over a million readers. This is a way to get reader reviews and further feedback, but can also lead to a publishing deal with Inkitt itself if the reader engagement data the company collects points to a potential best-seller.

“We analyse reader behaviour, analyse their engagement,” Inkitt founder Ali Albazaz tells me. “If they start reading and stay up all night to continue reading, if they use every break during the day to continue reading your story, we look at this reader behaviour in order to see if a book is good or not good”.

In addition, since Inkitt employs Facebook log in, the startup has demographic data on its readers and this, says Albazaz, puts it in a position to be able to make decisions very objectively. “If we see that the metrics are great, we offer the author a publishing deal,” he says, which covers ebooks, print, audio books, movie rights, and merchandise rights.

To date, the company has published 24 books, of which 22 have become Amazon best sellers. “We are basically a full publishing house but without acquisition editors,” says Albazaz. “Inkitt is about author equality not about what you have done before or the network you have. Three years later we are proving that our approach works. We are able to predict best sellers with incredible accuracy”.

Meanwhile, Albazaz regards Inkitt’s most direct competitor as Chuangshi by Tencent, a large fiction site in China. “It is our main global competition, but also our main proof point for a successful data-driven fiction publisher. Tencent’s service focuses exclusively on China,” he says.

Otherwise, the Inkitt founder reckons that, with the exception of Amazon, few publishing houses work extensively with data science or use online to its full potential. Instead they still rely on gut-level decision-making by literary agents who in turn pitch a publisher where an editor ultimately decides whether or not a work is sellable.

[post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-25 08:25:40 [post_date] => 2017-09-25 08:25:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-25 08:25:40 [post_modified] => 2017-09-25 08:25:40 [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [guid] => https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/25/inkitt/?ncid=rss [meta] => Array ( [enclosure] => Array ( [0] => http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/inkitt-app.png image/png [1] => http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/inkitt-app.png [2] => http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/95b8a6df6d265cf57a4d89ee4856ea98?s=96&d=identicon&r=G ) [syndication_source] => Startups – TechCrunch [syndication_source_uri] => https://techcrunch.com/ [syndication_source_id] => http://www.starterincubator.com/magicrss/fulltextrss32/makefulltextfeed.php?url=http://techcrunch.com/startups/feed/ [syndication_feed] => http://www.starterincubator.com/magicrss/fulltextrss32/makefulltextfeed.php?url=http://techcrunch.com/startups/feed/ [syndication_feed_id] => 11 [syndication_permalink] => https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/25/inkitt/?ncid=rss [syndication_item_hash] => 9f15cdabb534cbcdca859af7f4d6ad40 ) [post_type] => post [post_author] => 49 [tax_input] => Array ( [category] => Array ( [0] => 30 [1] => 33 [2] => 30 ) [post_tag] => Array ( ) [post_format] => Array ( ) ) )

Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :Inkitt, a ‘reader powered’ book publisher, raises $3.9M to discover the next best-selling author

Array ( [post_title] => Inkitt, a ‘reader powered’ book publisher, raises $3.9M to discover the next best-selling author [post_content] =>

Inkitt, which bills itself as “the world’s first reader-powered book publisher,” has raised $3.9 million in pre-series A funding, in a round led by Redalpine, with Frontline Ventures, Speedinvest and a number of private investors also participating. The Berlin-based startup is part writing and reading community, and part publishing house, with one aspect feeding the other.

Let me explain.

The Inkitt online community consists of a forum to post writing work in-progress and get feedback, and to solicit support for things like editing and plot development. However, a major focus — and key to the startup’s unique publishing model — is the beta readers section.

Here Inkitt members are encouraged to post full manuscripts to be read by the app’s over a million readers. This is a way to get reader reviews and further feedback, but can also lead to a publishing deal with Inkitt itself if the reader engagement data the company collects points to a potential best-seller.

“We analyse reader behaviour, analyse their engagement,” Inkitt founder Ali Albazaz tells me. “If they start reading and stay up all night to continue reading, if they use every break during the day to continue reading your story, we look at this reader behaviour in order to see if a book is good or not good”.

In addition, since Inkitt employs Facebook log in, the startup has demographic data on its readers and this, says Albazaz, puts it in a position to be able to make decisions very objectively. “If we see that the metrics are great, we offer the author a publishing deal,” he says, which covers ebooks, print, audio books, movie rights, and merchandise rights.

To date, the company has published 24 books, of which 22 have become Amazon best sellers. “We are basically a full publishing house but without acquisition editors,” says Albazaz. “Inkitt is about author equality not about what you have done before or the network you have. Three years later we are proving that our approach works. We are able to predict best sellers with incredible accuracy”.

Meanwhile, Albazaz regards Inkitt’s most direct competitor as Chuangshi by Tencent, a large fiction site in China. “It is our main global competition, but also our main proof point for a successful data-driven fiction publisher. Tencent’s service focuses exclusively on China,” he says.

Otherwise, the Inkitt founder reckons that, with the exception of Amazon, few publishing houses work extensively with data science or use online to its full potential. Instead they still rely on gut-level decision-making by literary agents who in turn pitch a publisher where an editor ultimately decides whether or not a work is sellable.

[post_excerpt] =>

Inkitt, which bills itself as “the world’s first reader-powered book publisher,” has raised $3.9 million in pre-series A funding, in a round led by Redalpine, with Frontline Ventures, Speedinvest and a number of private investors also participating. The Berlin-based startup is part writing and reading community, and part publishing house, with one aspect feeding the other.

Let me explain.

The Inkitt online community consists of a forum to post writing work in-progress and get feedback, and to solicit support for things like editing and plot development. However, a major focus — and key to the startup’s unique publishing model — is the beta readers section.

Here Inkitt members are encouraged to post full manuscripts to be read by the app’s over a million readers. This is a way to get reader reviews and further feedback, but can also lead to a publishing deal with Inkitt itself if the reader engagement data the company collects points to a potential best-seller.

“We analyse reader behaviour, analyse their engagement,” Inkitt founder Ali Albazaz tells me. “If they start reading and stay up all night to continue reading, if they use every break during the day to continue reading your story, we look at this reader behaviour in order to see if a book is good or not good”.

In addition, since Inkitt employs Facebook log in, the startup has demographic data on its readers and this, says Albazaz, puts it in a position to be able to make decisions very objectively. “If we see that the metrics are great, we offer the author a publishing deal,” he says, which covers ebooks, print, audio books, movie rights, and merchandise rights.

To date, the company has published 24 books, of which 22 have become Amazon best sellers. “We are basically a full publishing house but without acquisition editors,” says Albazaz. “Inkitt is about author equality not about what you have done before or the network you have. Three years later we are proving that our approach works. We are able to predict best sellers with incredible accuracy”.

Meanwhile, Albazaz regards Inkitt’s most direct competitor as Chuangshi by Tencent, a large fiction site in China. “It is our main global competition, but also our main proof point for a successful data-driven fiction publisher. Tencent’s service focuses exclusively on China,” he says.

Otherwise, the Inkitt founder reckons that, with the exception of Amazon, few publishing houses work extensively with data science or use online to its full potential. Instead they still rely on gut-level decision-making by literary agents who in turn pitch a publisher where an editor ultimately decides whether or not a work is sellable.

[post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-25 08:25:40 [post_date] => 2017-09-25 08:25:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-25 08:25:40 [post_modified] => 2017-09-25 08:25:40 [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [guid] => https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/25/inkitt/?ncid=rss [meta] => Array ( [enclosure] => Array ( [0] => http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/inkitt-app.png image/png [1] => http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/inkitt-app.png [2] => http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/95b8a6df6d265cf57a4d89ee4856ea98?s=96&d=identicon&r=G ) [syndication_source] => Startups – TechCrunch [syndication_source_uri] => https://techcrunch.com/ [syndication_source_id] => http://www.starterincubator.com/magicrss/fulltextrss32/makefulltextfeed.php?url=http://techcrunch.com/startups/feed/ [syndication_feed] => http://www.starterincubator.com/magicrss/fulltextrss32/makefulltextfeed.php?url=http://techcrunch.com/startups/feed/ [syndication_feed_id] => 11 [syndication_permalink] => https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/25/inkitt/?ncid=rss [syndication_item_hash] => 9f15cdabb534cbcdca859af7f4d6ad40 ) [post_type] => post [post_author] => 49 [tax_input] => Array ( [category] => Array ( [0] => 30 [1] => 33 [2] => 30 ) [post_tag] => Array ( ) [post_format] => Array ( ) ) )

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Photo marketplace Picfair raises £1.5M, aims to ‘weaponise’ photographers

Array ( [post_title] => Photo marketplace Picfair raises £1.5M, aims to ‘weaponise’ photographers [post_content] =>

Picfair, the London-based photo marketplace founded by ex-journalist Benji Lanyado, has raised £1.5 million in new funding — capital it plans to use to market its “fair trade photography” proposition to the plethora of companies that need authentic photo content.

These include publishers, creative agencies, and, with the huge rise in so-called content marketing, SMEs and corporates. However, rather than spend a ton of money on paid-for online marketing, Lanyado says the plan is to “weaponise” the marketplace’s 25,000 or so photographers, who, he believes, are best placed to spread awareness of Picfair and are already doing so.

Specifically, he says many of Picfair’s photographers — who range from smartphone photographers to professionals, as anyone can upload their work to the platform — already share their Picfair-hosted photo listings on social media or embed a link to the marketplace on their own portfolio sites, in a bid to point buyers away from industry behemoths, such as Getty and Shutterstock, and to Picfair. That’s because Picfair lets photographers set their own prices and takes a much smaller 20 per cent cut on each photo sold.

Now the startup wants to add a further incentive in the form of affiliate revenue, thus giving photographers an additional 10 per cent on every photo they sell direct. It is also developing tools to make embedding a Picfair buy button and other promotional materials much easier.

“Picfair’s growth among photographers has been almost exclusively organic, all through word of mouth” Lanyado tells me. “We’re the only place a photographer can set their own license prices, anywhere. That’s crazy but it’s true. Instead, the huge [photo] agencies have institutionalised their control of the industry by imposing themselves as brokers, setting the fees, and then — brace yourself — taking 80 per cent of the royalties. Picfair reverses this, giving 80 percent to the photographer. We only make money if they make a lot more”.

He says that photographers talk, and that the control and fairness that Picfair offers means they tell their friends, some of whom are on the demand side of the image licensing equation. “Ceatives across publishing, the agency world, and the ever-expanding tier of corporates who license images (this is pretty much any company – website collateral, social media, content marketing; everyone’s a publisher these days),” he says.

“So during Picfair’s next phase, we want to supercharge this. We’ve started gradually rolling out out incentives for photographers who refer customers to us – splitting our 20 per cent commission with them for a year on every customer they refer. And then we want to tool them up – with online resource suites, marketing material, offline assets”.

Meanwhile, the sell to photo buyers is that Picfair images are more authentic and unique, often avoiding the stale look of traditional stock photography. Despite living through the biggest proliferation of images in history, with the average image quality of non-professional imagery improving exponentially, “the supply of images to the industry is 99 per cent professional,” Lanyado says.

Picfair’s solution is to open the doors to everyone, while its “ever-improving curation technology” does the heavy-lifting of sorting through the resulting uploaded images for quality, agnostic of whether they are taken by an award-winning professional or a complete amateur.

The startup’s new round of funding was led by the Claverley Group, owners of Express & Star regional U.K. newspaper. Picfair is also angel-backed by the likes of Alexis Ohanian, Tom Hulme, Duncan and Max Jennings (the VoucherCodes brothers), Richard Fearn, John Fingleton (former CE of the OFT and Treasury advisor), Jeremy Palmer (Quantum Black CEO), Chris Sheldrick (CEO of What3Words), Anthony Eskinazi (CEO of Just Park), Julian Worth, Force Over Mass, and D5 Capital.

[post_excerpt] =>

Picfair, the London-based photo marketplace founded by ex-journalist Benji Lanyado, has raised £1.5 million in new funding — capital it plans to use to market its “fair trade photography” proposition to the plethora of companies that need authentic photo content.

These include publishers, creative agencies, and, with the huge rise in so-called content marketing, SMEs and corporates. However, rather than spend a ton of money on paid-for online marketing, Lanyado says the plan is to “weaponise” the marketplace’s 25,000 or so photographers, who, he believes, are best placed to spread awareness of Picfair and are already doing so.

Specifically, he says many of Picfair’s photographers — who range from smartphone photographers to professionals, as anyone can upload their work to the platform — already share their Picfair-hosted photo listings on social media or embed a link to the marketplace on their own portfolio sites, in a bid to point buyers away from industry behemoths, such as Getty and Shutterstock, and to Picfair. That’s because Picfair lets photographers set their own prices and takes a much smaller 20 per cent cut on each photo sold.

Now the startup wants to add a further incentive in the form of affiliate revenue, thus giving photographers an additional 10 per cent on every photo they sell direct. It is also developing tools to make embedding a Picfair buy button and other promotional materials much easier.

“Picfair’s growth among photographers has been almost exclusively organic, all through word of mouth” Lanyado tells me. “We’re the only place a photographer can set their own license prices, anywhere. That’s crazy but it’s true. Instead, the huge [photo] agencies have institutionalised their control of the industry by imposing themselves as brokers, setting the fees, and then — brace yourself — taking 80 per cent of the royalties. Picfair reverses this, giving 80 percent to the photographer. We only make money if they make a lot more”.

He says that photographers talk, and that the control and fairness that Picfair offers means they tell their friends, some of whom are on the demand side of the image licensing equation. “Ceatives across publishing, the agency world, and the ever-expanding tier of corporates who license images (this is pretty much any company – website collateral, social media, content marketing; everyone’s a publisher these days),” he says.

“So during Picfair’s next phase, we want to supercharge this. We’ve started gradually rolling out out incentives for photographers who refer customers to us – splitting our 20 per cent commission with them for a year on every customer they refer. And then we want to tool them up – with online resource suites, marketing material, offline assets”.

Meanwhile, the sell to photo buyers is that Picfair images are more authentic and unique, often avoiding the stale look of traditional stock photography. Despite living through the biggest proliferation of images in history, with the average image quality of non-professional imagery improving exponentially, “the supply of images to the industry is 99 per cent professional,” Lanyado says.

Picfair’s solution is to open the doors to everyone, while its “ever-improving curation technology” does the heavy-lifting of sorting through the resulting uploaded images for quality, agnostic of whether they are taken by an award-winning professional or a complete amateur.

The startup’s new round of funding was led by the Claverley Group, owners of Express & Star regional U.K. newspaper. Picfair is also angel-backed by the likes of Alexis Ohanian, Tom Hulme, Duncan and Max Jennings (the VoucherCodes brothers), Richard Fearn, John Fingleton (former CE of the OFT and Treasury advisor), Jeremy Palmer (Quantum Black CEO), Chris Sheldrick (CEO of What3Words), Anthony Eskinazi (CEO of Just Park), Julian Worth, Force Over Mass, and D5 Capital.

[post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-25 08:19:01 [post_date] => 2017-09-25 08:19:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-25 08:19:01 [post_modified] => 2017-09-25 08:19:01 [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [guid] => https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/25/picfair/?ncid=rss [meta] => Array ( [enclosure] => Array ( [0] => http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/img_7951.jpg image/jpeg [1] => http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/img_7951.jpg [2] => http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/95b8a6df6d265cf57a4d89ee4856ea98?s=96&d=identicon&r=G ) [syndication_source] => Startups – TechCrunch [syndication_source_uri] => https://techcrunch.com/ [syndication_source_id] => http://www.starterincubator.com/magicrss/fulltextrss32/makefulltextfeed.php?url=http://techcrunch.com/startups/feed/ [syndication_feed] => http://www.starterincubator.com/magicrss/fulltextrss32/makefulltextfeed.php?url=http://techcrunch.com/startups/feed/ [syndication_feed_id] => 11 [syndication_permalink] => https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/25/picfair/?ncid=rss [syndication_item_hash] => 8ceff617f03bc989d72f314ae8fa54c5 ) [post_type] => post [post_author] => 49 [tax_input] => Array ( [category] => Array ( [0] => 30 [1] => 33 [2] => 30 ) [post_tag] => Array ( ) [post_format] => Array ( ) ) )

Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :Photo marketplace Picfair raises £1.5M, aims to ‘weaponise’ photographers

Array ( [post_title] => Photo marketplace Picfair raises £1.5M, aims to ‘weaponise’ photographers [post_content] =>

Picfair, the London-based photo marketplace founded by ex-journalist Benji Lanyado, has raised £1.5 million in new funding — capital it plans to use to market its “fair trade photography” proposition to the plethora of companies that need authentic photo content.

These include publishers, creative agencies, and, with the huge rise in so-called content marketing, SMEs and corporates. However, rather than spend a ton of money on paid-for online marketing, Lanyado says the plan is to “weaponise” the marketplace’s 25,000 or so photographers, who, he believes, are best placed to spread awareness of Picfair and are already doing so.

Specifically, he says many of Picfair’s photographers — who range from smartphone photographers to professionals, as anyone can upload their work to the platform — already share their Picfair-hosted photo listings on social media or embed a link to the marketplace on their own portfolio sites, in a bid to point buyers away from industry behemoths, such as Getty and Shutterstock, and to Picfair. That’s because Picfair lets photographers set their own prices and takes a much smaller 20 per cent cut on each photo sold.

Now the startup wants to add a further incentive in the form of affiliate revenue, thus giving photographers an additional 10 per cent on every photo they sell direct. It is also developing tools to make embedding a Picfair buy button and other promotional materials much easier.

“Picfair’s growth among photographers has been almost exclusively organic, all through word of mouth” Lanyado tells me. “We’re the only place a photographer can set their own license prices, anywhere. That’s crazy but it’s true. Instead, the huge [photo] agencies have institutionalised their control of the industry by imposing themselves as brokers, setting the fees, and then — brace yourself — taking 80 per cent of the royalties. Picfair reverses this, giving 80 percent to the photographer. We only make money if they make a lot more”.

He says that photographers talk, and that the control and fairness that Picfair offers means they tell their friends, some of whom are on the demand side of the image licensing equation. “Ceatives across publishing, the agency world, and the ever-expanding tier of corporates who license images (this is pretty much any company – website collateral, social media, content marketing; everyone’s a publisher these days),” he says.

“So during Picfair’s next phase, we want to supercharge this. We’ve started gradually rolling out out incentives for photographers who refer customers to us – splitting our 20 per cent commission with them for a year on every customer they refer. And then we want to tool them up – with online resource suites, marketing material, offline assets”.

Meanwhile, the sell to photo buyers is that Picfair images are more authentic and unique, often avoiding the stale look of traditional stock photography. Despite living through the biggest proliferation of images in history, with the average image quality of non-professional imagery improving exponentially, “the supply of images to the industry is 99 per cent professional,” Lanyado says.

Picfair’s solution is to open the doors to everyone, while its “ever-improving curation technology” does the heavy-lifting of sorting through the resulting uploaded images for quality, agnostic of whether they are taken by an award-winning professional or a complete amateur.

The startup’s new round of funding was led by the Claverley Group, owners of Express & Star regional U.K. newspaper. Picfair is also angel-backed by the likes of Alexis Ohanian, Tom Hulme, Duncan and Max Jennings (the VoucherCodes brothers), Richard Fearn, John Fingleton (former CE of the OFT and Treasury advisor), Jeremy Palmer (Quantum Black CEO), Chris Sheldrick (CEO of What3Words), Anthony Eskinazi (CEO of Just Park), Julian Worth, Force Over Mass, and D5 Capital.

[post_excerpt] =>

Picfair, the London-based photo marketplace founded by ex-journalist Benji Lanyado, has raised £1.5 million in new funding — capital it plans to use to market its “fair trade photography” proposition to the plethora of companies that need authentic photo content.

These include publishers, creative agencies, and, with the huge rise in so-called content marketing, SMEs and corporates. However, rather than spend a ton of money on paid-for online marketing, Lanyado says the plan is to “weaponise” the marketplace’s 25,000 or so photographers, who, he believes, are best placed to spread awareness of Picfair and are already doing so.

Specifically, he says many of Picfair’s photographers — who range from smartphone photographers to professionals, as anyone can upload their work to the platform — already share their Picfair-hosted photo listings on social media or embed a link to the marketplace on their own portfolio sites, in a bid to point buyers away from industry behemoths, such as Getty and Shutterstock, and to Picfair. That’s because Picfair lets photographers set their own prices and takes a much smaller 20 per cent cut on each photo sold.

Now the startup wants to add a further incentive in the form of affiliate revenue, thus giving photographers an additional 10 per cent on every photo they sell direct. It is also developing tools to make embedding a Picfair buy button and other promotional materials much easier.

“Picfair’s growth among photographers has been almost exclusively organic, all through word of mouth” Lanyado tells me. “We’re the only place a photographer can set their own license prices, anywhere. That’s crazy but it’s true. Instead, the huge [photo] agencies have institutionalised their control of the industry by imposing themselves as brokers, setting the fees, and then — brace yourself — taking 80 per cent of the royalties. Picfair reverses this, giving 80 percent to the photographer. We only make money if they make a lot more”.

He says that photographers talk, and that the control and fairness that Picfair offers means they tell their friends, some of whom are on the demand side of the image licensing equation. “Ceatives across publishing, the agency world, and the ever-expanding tier of corporates who license images (this is pretty much any company – website collateral, social media, content marketing; everyone’s a publisher these days),” he says.

“So during Picfair’s next phase, we want to supercharge this. We’ve started gradually rolling out out incentives for photographers who refer customers to us – splitting our 20 per cent commission with them for a year on every customer they refer. And then we want to tool them up – with online resource suites, marketing material, offline assets”.

Meanwhile, the sell to photo buyers is that Picfair images are more authentic and unique, often avoiding the stale look of traditional stock photography. Despite living through the biggest proliferation of images in history, with the average image quality of non-professional imagery improving exponentially, “the supply of images to the industry is 99 per cent professional,” Lanyado says.

Picfair’s solution is to open the doors to everyone, while its “ever-improving curation technology” does the heavy-lifting of sorting through the resulting uploaded images for quality, agnostic of whether they are taken by an award-winning professional or a complete amateur.

The startup’s new round of funding was led by the Claverley Group, owners of Express & Star regional U.K. newspaper. Picfair is also angel-backed by the likes of Alexis Ohanian, Tom Hulme, Duncan and Max Jennings (the VoucherCodes brothers), Richard Fearn, John Fingleton (former CE of the OFT and Treasury advisor), Jeremy Palmer (Quantum Black CEO), Chris Sheldrick (CEO of What3Words), Anthony Eskinazi (CEO of Just Park), Julian Worth, Force Over Mass, and D5 Capital.

[post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-25 08:19:01 [post_date] => 2017-09-25 08:19:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-25 08:19:01 [post_modified] => 2017-09-25 08:19:01 [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [guid] => https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/25/picfair/?ncid=rss [meta] => Array ( [enclosure] => Array ( [0] => http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/img_7951.jpg image/jpeg [1] => http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/img_7951.jpg [2] => http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/95b8a6df6d265cf57a4d89ee4856ea98?s=96&d=identicon&r=G ) [syndication_source] => Startups – TechCrunch [syndication_source_uri] => https://techcrunch.com/ [syndication_source_id] => http://www.starterincubator.com/magicrss/fulltextrss32/makefulltextfeed.php?url=http://techcrunch.com/startups/feed/ [syndication_feed] => http://www.starterincubator.com/magicrss/fulltextrss32/makefulltextfeed.php?url=http://techcrunch.com/startups/feed/ [syndication_feed_id] => 11 [syndication_permalink] => https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/25/picfair/?ncid=rss [syndication_item_hash] => 8ceff617f03bc989d72f314ae8fa54c5 ) [post_type] => post [post_author] => 49 [tax_input] => Array ( [category] => Array ( [0] => 30 [1] => 33 [2] => 30 ) [post_tag] => Array ( ) [post_format] => Array ( ) ) )

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Backed by Accel, GlowRoad helps Indian women build home businesses

Array ( [post_title] => Backed by Accel, GlowRoad helps Indian women build home businesses [post_content] =>

GlowRoad’s team with founder Dr. Sonal Verma (center in green shirt)

Indian e-commerce company GlowRoad is built on a simple premise. By connecting manufacturers with resellers and using drop shipping, it keeps everyone’s overhead costs low. The Bangalore-based startup, however, doesn’t just aspire to be an online reseller network. Founded by a former physician, GlowRoad’s goal is to give housewives and stay-at-home mothers a low-risk way to start their own retail businesses from home.

GlowRoad, which secured $2 million in Series A funding from Accel Partners earlier this month, currently claims 100,000 registered users, 36,000 of whom are active resellers. Most selling takes place in WhatsApp groups or in-person and GlowRoad claims that its resellers complete about a total of 1,000 transactions every day.

While some resellers do keep physical inventory in their homes, most products are shipped directly from manufacturers to buyers. The company’s business model is designed to benefit resellers by letting them build an online store without managing stock and suppliers who have a ready-made distribution network.

“The idea is that women should be able to earn from home, without putting in any money and it should be a secure system, but if you look at it from a business person’s point of view, what it becomes is a very strong sales network,” says founder Sonal Verma, who acqui-hired the team behind LocalQueen, a reseller network, two months ago to build GlowRoad. “So if you launch something and want to launch it in all the cities in India, you can do so very rapidly and very cost-effectively through this channel.”

While working as a physician, Verma focused on community medicine before co-founding a telemedicine startup called HealthcareMagic.com. Going from medicine to e-commerce might seem like an odd path, but Verma says she was inspired by the women she treated.

“I wanted to work in a venture that empowers women and I saw a lot of reselling happening in my neighborhoods, so that put the idea in my head,” she says.

India’s e-commerce market is expected to be worth $220 billion by 2025 and, according to a report by Zinnov, one of the main beneficiaries will be women running businesses from home.

The consulting firm says about two million women have already made $9 billion in gross sales by reselling clothing and lifestyle products online, and that the number of “housewife resellers” is expected to increase to 21 million to 23 million by 2022.

GlowRoad’s suppliers offer goods at wholesale prices and resellers decide what margin to charge on top of that. While sellers have an online storefront on GlowRoad, they usually market their products through WhatsApp and Facebook groups or in their residential communities. GlowRoad monetizes by charging its suppliers 500 rupees a month (about $7.70), while resellers pay to unlock premium features.

GlowRoad’s biggest category is fashion, with Indian ethnic wear moving the most products, says Verma. Cosmetics and jewelry are also popular.

“WhatsApp has changed a lot of things for everyone,” says Verma. “Most ladies have fairly large WhatsApp groups and are members of multiple ladies groups on WhatsApp or Facebook. When they become serious resellers, they start doing it by sending more messages, saying that I’m in this kind of business, and then they start to make their own groups for their business.”

As each reseller’s business grows, GlowRoad teaches them how to run Facebook ads and optimize search results for their GlowRoad online stores. Since most GlowRoad resellers use drop shipping, it only takes them a few minutes to fill their online stores with listings.

Relying on drop shipping, however, comes with several risks. For example, not seeing a product before it reaches customers means resellers have very little control over quality. GlowRoad mitigates this by sending members of its team to vet manufacturers before adding them to the site and then using a review system that rewards top suppliers by setting them up with the site’s newest resellers.

Verma says some of GlowRoad’s Series A funding will be used to ensure that its quality assurance system can scale up. The company also plans to hire more people to build its digital marketing team and tech platform.

“Improving supply side is what we are working on the most at the moment, but we’ll ensure they have the best quality products,” says Verma.

[post_excerpt] =>

GlowRoad’s team with founder Dr. Sonal Verma (center in green shirt)

Indian e-commerce company GlowRoad is built on a simple premise. By connecting manufacturers with resellers and using drop shipping, it keeps everyone’s overhead costs low. The Bangalore-based startup, however, doesn’t just aspire to be an online reseller network. Founded by a former physician, GlowRoad’s goal is to give housewives and stay-at-home mothers a low-risk way to start their own retail businesses from home.

GlowRoad, which secured $2 million in Series A funding from Accel Partners earlier this month, currently claims 100,000 registered users, 36,000 of whom are active resellers. Most selling takes place in WhatsApp groups or in-person and GlowRoad claims that its resellers complete about a total of 1,000 transactions every day.

While some resellers do keep physical inventory in their homes, most products are shipped directly from manufacturers to buyers. The company’s business model is designed to benefit resellers by letting them build an online store without managing stock and suppliers who have a ready-made distribution network.

“The idea is that women should be able to earn from home, without putting in any money and it should be a secure system, but if you look at it from a business person’s point of view, what it becomes is a very strong sales network,” says founder Sonal Verma, who acqui-hired the team behind LocalQueen, a reseller network, two months ago to build GlowRoad. “So if you launch something and want to launch it in all the cities in India, you can do so very rapidly and very cost-effectively through this channel.”

While working as a physician, Verma focused on community medicine before co-founding a telemedicine startup called HealthcareMagic.com. Going from medicine to e-commerce might seem like an odd path, but Verma says she was inspired by the women she treated.

“I wanted to work in a venture that empowers women and I saw a lot of reselling happening in my neighborhoods, so that put the idea in my head,” she says.

India’s e-commerce market is expected to be worth $220 billion by 2025 and, according to a report by Zinnov, one of the main beneficiaries will be women running businesses from home.

The consulting firm says about two million women have already made $9 billion in gross sales by reselling clothing and lifestyle products online, and that the number of “housewife resellers” is expected to increase to 21 million to 23 million by 2022.

GlowRoad’s suppliers offer goods at wholesale prices and resellers decide what margin to charge on top of that. While sellers have an online storefront on GlowRoad, they usually market their products through WhatsApp and Facebook groups or in their residential communities. GlowRoad monetizes by charging its suppliers 500 rupees a month (about $7.70), while resellers pay to unlock premium features.

GlowRoad’s biggest category is fashion, with Indian ethnic wear moving the most products, says Verma. Cosmetics and jewelry are also popular.

“WhatsApp has changed a lot of things for everyone,” says Verma. “Most ladies have fairly large WhatsApp groups and are members of multiple ladies groups on WhatsApp or Facebook. When they become serious resellers, they start doing it by sending more messages, saying that I’m in this kind of business, and then they start to make their own groups for their business.”

As each reseller’s business grows, GlowRoad teaches them how to run Facebook ads and optimize search results for their GlowRoad online stores. Since most GlowRoad resellers use drop shipping, it only takes them a few minutes to fill their online stores with listings.

Relying on drop shipping, however, comes with several risks. For example, not seeing a product before it reaches customers means resellers have very little control over quality. GlowRoad mitigates this by sending members of its team to vet manufacturers before adding them to the site and then using a review system that rewards top suppliers by setting them up with the site’s newest resellers.

Verma says some of GlowRoad’s Series A funding will be used to ensure that its quality assurance system can scale up. The company also plans to hire more people to build its digital marketing team and tech platform.

“Improving supply side is what we are working on the most at the moment, but we’ll ensure they have the best quality products,” says Verma.

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Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :Backed by Accel, GlowRoad helps Indian women build home businesses

Array ( [post_title] => Backed by Accel, GlowRoad helps Indian women build home businesses [post_content] =>

GlowRoad’s team with founder Dr. Sonal Verma (center in green shirt)

Indian e-commerce company GlowRoad is built on a simple premise. By connecting manufacturers with resellers and using drop shipping, it keeps everyone’s overhead costs low. The Bangalore-based startup, however, doesn’t just aspire to be an online reseller network. Founded by a former physician, GlowRoad’s goal is to give housewives and stay-at-home mothers a low-risk way to start their own retail businesses from home.

GlowRoad, which secured $2 million in Series A funding from Accel Partners earlier this month, currently claims 100,000 registered users, 36,000 of whom are active resellers. Most selling takes place in WhatsApp groups or in-person and GlowRoad claims that its resellers complete about a total of 1,000 transactions every day.

While some resellers do keep physical inventory in their homes, most products are shipped directly from manufacturers to buyers. The company’s business model is designed to benefit resellers by letting them build an online store without managing stock and suppliers who have a ready-made distribution network.

“The idea is that women should be able to earn from home, without putting in any money and it should be a secure system, but if you look at it from a business person’s point of view, what it becomes is a very strong sales network,” says founder Sonal Verma, who acqui-hired the team behind LocalQueen, a reseller network, two months ago to build GlowRoad. “So if you launch something and want to launch it in all the cities in India, you can do so very rapidly and very cost-effectively through this channel.”

While working as a physician, Verma focused on community medicine before co-founding a telemedicine startup called HealthcareMagic.com. Going from medicine to e-commerce might seem like an odd path, but Verma says she was inspired by the women she treated.

“I wanted to work in a venture that empowers women and I saw a lot of reselling happening in my neighborhoods, so that put the idea in my head,” she says.

India’s e-commerce market is expected to be worth $220 billion by 2025 and, according to a report by Zinnov, one of the main beneficiaries will be women running businesses from home.

The consulting firm says about two million women have already made $9 billion in gross sales by reselling clothing and lifestyle products online, and that the number of “housewife resellers” is expected to increase to 21 million to 23 million by 2022.

GlowRoad’s suppliers offer goods at wholesale prices and resellers decide what margin to charge on top of that. While sellers have an online storefront on GlowRoad, they usually market their products through WhatsApp and Facebook groups or in their residential communities. GlowRoad monetizes by charging its suppliers 500 rupees a month (about $7.70), while resellers pay to unlock premium features.

GlowRoad’s biggest category is fashion, with Indian ethnic wear moving the most products, says Verma. Cosmetics and jewelry are also popular.

“WhatsApp has changed a lot of things for everyone,” says Verma. “Most ladies have fairly large WhatsApp groups and are members of multiple ladies groups on WhatsApp or Facebook. When they become serious resellers, they start doing it by sending more messages, saying that I’m in this kind of business, and then they start to make their own groups for their business.”

As each reseller’s business grows, GlowRoad teaches them how to run Facebook ads and optimize search results for their GlowRoad online stores. Since most GlowRoad resellers use drop shipping, it only takes them a few minutes to fill their online stores with listings.

Relying on drop shipping, however, comes with several risks. For example, not seeing a product before it reaches customers means resellers have very little control over quality. GlowRoad mitigates this by sending members of its team to vet manufacturers before adding them to the site and then using a review system that rewards top suppliers by setting them up with the site’s newest resellers.

Verma says some of GlowRoad’s Series A funding will be used to ensure that its quality assurance system can scale up. The company also plans to hire more people to build its digital marketing team and tech platform.

“Improving supply side is what we are working on the most at the moment, but we’ll ensure they have the best quality products,” says Verma.

[post_excerpt] =>

GlowRoad’s team with founder Dr. Sonal Verma (center in green shirt)

Indian e-commerce company GlowRoad is built on a simple premise. By connecting manufacturers with resellers and using drop shipping, it keeps everyone’s overhead costs low. The Bangalore-based startup, however, doesn’t just aspire to be an online reseller network. Founded by a former physician, GlowRoad’s goal is to give housewives and stay-at-home mothers a low-risk way to start their own retail businesses from home.

GlowRoad, which secured $2 million in Series A funding from Accel Partners earlier this month, currently claims 100,000 registered users, 36,000 of whom are active resellers. Most selling takes place in WhatsApp groups or in-person and GlowRoad claims that its resellers complete about a total of 1,000 transactions every day.

While some resellers do keep physical inventory in their homes, most products are shipped directly from manufacturers to buyers. The company’s business model is designed to benefit resellers by letting them build an online store without managing stock and suppliers who have a ready-made distribution network.

“The idea is that women should be able to earn from home, without putting in any money and it should be a secure system, but if you look at it from a business person’s point of view, what it becomes is a very strong sales network,” says founder Sonal Verma, who acqui-hired the team behind LocalQueen, a reseller network, two months ago to build GlowRoad. “So if you launch something and want to launch it in all the cities in India, you can do so very rapidly and very cost-effectively through this channel.”

While working as a physician, Verma focused on community medicine before co-founding a telemedicine startup called HealthcareMagic.com. Going from medicine to e-commerce might seem like an odd path, but Verma says she was inspired by the women she treated.

“I wanted to work in a venture that empowers women and I saw a lot of reselling happening in my neighborhoods, so that put the idea in my head,” she says.

India’s e-commerce market is expected to be worth $220 billion by 2025 and, according to a report by Zinnov, one of the main beneficiaries will be women running businesses from home.

The consulting firm says about two million women have already made $9 billion in gross sales by reselling clothing and lifestyle products online, and that the number of “housewife resellers” is expected to increase to 21 million to 23 million by 2022.

GlowRoad’s suppliers offer goods at wholesale prices and resellers decide what margin to charge on top of that. While sellers have an online storefront on GlowRoad, they usually market their products through WhatsApp and Facebook groups or in their residential communities. GlowRoad monetizes by charging its suppliers 500 rupees a month (about $7.70), while resellers pay to unlock premium features.

GlowRoad’s biggest category is fashion, with Indian ethnic wear moving the most products, says Verma. Cosmetics and jewelry are also popular.

“WhatsApp has changed a lot of things for everyone,” says Verma. “Most ladies have fairly large WhatsApp groups and are members of multiple ladies groups on WhatsApp or Facebook. When they become serious resellers, they start doing it by sending more messages, saying that I’m in this kind of business, and then they start to make their own groups for their business.”

As each reseller’s business grows, GlowRoad teaches them how to run Facebook ads and optimize search results for their GlowRoad online stores. Since most GlowRoad resellers use drop shipping, it only takes them a few minutes to fill their online stores with listings.

Relying on drop shipping, however, comes with several risks. For example, not seeing a product before it reaches customers means resellers have very little control over quality. GlowRoad mitigates this by sending members of its team to vet manufacturers before adding them to the site and then using a review system that rewards top suppliers by setting them up with the site’s newest resellers.

Verma says some of GlowRoad’s Series A funding will be used to ensure that its quality assurance system can scale up. The company also plans to hire more people to build its digital marketing team and tech platform.

“Improving supply side is what we are working on the most at the moment, but we’ll ensure they have the best quality products,” says Verma.

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