Pixey.io will use the funding to add five new members of staff over the next six months and introduce artificial intelligence to the company’s service, enabling natural speech search to improve results.
The investment was secured from Equity Gap, Gabriel and Scottish Investment Bank, which invested a total of £213,000. A further £30,000 was raised from Robin Knox and Paul Walton of Intelligent Point of Sale.
Founded by Sarah Stenhouse, Pixey.io was created to give companies such as broadcasters and publishers a way to obtain rights to use photos from the popular Instagram social network. The company contacts Instagram users to request use of their images and arranges copyright and payment. Photographers get 50% of the revenue from sale of their images.
Since the business was founded it has supplied clients including high street banks and international advertising agencies. Pixey.io has also won funding from the Scottish EDGE competition and was a finalist in Deloitte’s Disrupt the Enterprise 2017 awards.
CEO Sarah Stenhouse told DIGIT: “The business has been growing steadily but this funding is huge for us and will move us on far more quickly than we could have otherwise. We can now bring in AI technology to effectively source images as well as boosting our profile in the US and Europe.
“We want to create a community with our photographers and provide a mixture of lifestyle and business content. Moving away from traditional staged stock photography, we supply real photos that are creative and more interesting visually.”
Fraser Lusty from Equity Gap said: “The stock photography market is estimated to be worth $3billion annually. Sarah has identified many areas where Pixey.io could grow and the company is already making headway in providing a creative service that benefits broadcasters and publishers.”