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Author Topic: 123rf acquires The Hungry JPEG, Pixlr, some VC cash and talks IPO (again)  (Read 4676 times)

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« on: May 05, 2017, 20:27 »
I missed these stock industry happenings from the last couple of months - 123rf bought the Creative Market clone The Hungry JPEG and Autodesk's Pixlr. They also obtained VC funding and did a deal with Tencent






The phrase "creative ecosystem" keeps cropping up in press releases and the articles covering this. There was also mention in the e27 article that 123rf had received venture capital this year from InnoVen Capital, India

A year ago (Feb 2016) there was an article that Andy Sitt was considering an IPO within 12-18 months. The article DealStreet Asia article from March about the Hungry JPEG acquisition says the 123rf IPO will be in Australia:

"The acquisition that was announced on Wednesday may pave the way for a listing that Inmagines 123RF has been targeting in Australia, for a while now . 'We will be announcing some acquisitions soon. We need some time to reconcile the business and then head for a bigger IPO,' the firms co-founder Andy Sitt had told this portal recently."

This DealStreet Asia article says the IPO will be delayed to the end of 2017 but may be in Tokyo or even the US. It also says the venture capital is to fund their planned acquisitions.

The report on the Android Police says the web version of Pixlr relies on Flash, suggesting it's in need of some updating - so if Sitt is thinking of going after Canva's type of setup, getting rid of obsolete stuff like Flash will be a must.

It seemed to me that Shutterstock's Editor was an answer to Canva; SS is now talking about being a platform, 123rf about being a "... holistic creative ecosystem that makes great design accessible to all..." and of course Adobe is integrating everything with everything via a plethora of apps and services. Not sure where this deal fits, but 123rf is also a Smart Performance Advertising Official Global Reseller for Tencent as of March 2017

I was also curious about a comment in the DealStreet Asia article about producing wholly owned content: "Inmagine groups in-house production team of over 200 employees will work directly on content to be marketed on THJ with the goal of expanding its library even further." There's a lot more flexibility for giveaways and low prices when you don't have to pay royalties.

So 123rf has designs.net, Stock Unlimited (now $139 for 3 years unlimited content!) Craft Bundles (this includes freebies) as well as Inmagine and 123rf. They say in the articles that Sitt claims to be the 4th largest stock agency - I assume after Getty, Shutterstock and Adobe Stock. There's certainly a flurry of activity, but perhaps this is about getting bought out rather than actually trying to compete with the larger agencies?

I don't know how Stock Unlimited is doing - wasn't that going to be the Netflix of stock agencies? - but the ever-cheaper prices suggest not well. It doesn't appear that overall, sales at 123rf are up for contributors - more tales of sales drop-off than of growth. You have to acknowledge that Andy Sitt has managed to keep his business going for a long time in a tough market, but I don't see a clear path to greater success by adding more moving parts and shiny objects when you can't compete effectively on the basics.

Not sure what any of this adds up to, but as I'd happened upon the information, I thought I'd share :)

Edited to note that as of Nov 7, Stock Unlimited is now offering 3 years unlimited for $89 - see a new thread about video content to license for free (CC0) with "donations" as their latest scammy addition to the scammy stable
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 11:14 by Jo Ann Snover »

« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2017, 20:52 »
In other news, Cory still really isn't making any more money.  ;D

« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2017, 02:26 »
Great breakdown of events Jo Ann.
Interesting times...

« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2017, 02:34 »
Thanks for the update they may not be doing so great but at least they are doing something. Seems to me most of the smaller sites are just coasting (at best).


« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2017, 12:02 »
Is that the reason why the sales are less and less every day?

« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2017, 13:07 »
sorry to tell you, the sales are great since a couple of months, the sales are getting better and better. I am with them since 5 years.

« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2017, 17:13 »
Is that the reason why the sales are less and less every day?
Same here, abysmal sales so far this year.


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