After 40M App Downloads, PhotoRoom Raises $19M • TechCrunch
French startup PhotoRoom has raised a $19 million Series A funding round. The company develops a popular photo editing app for e-commerce vendors and small businesses. In particular, it helps you remove the background behind objects you are going to sell, so your photos look more professional.
Balderton Capital is leading the Series A round with angels from Facebook, Hugging Face and Disney+ also participating. Existing investor Adjacent is also putting more money into the company.
PhotoRoom isn’t the only app that helps you remove photo backgrounds. Another popular app in the “Graphics & Design” category of the App Store is Pixelcut. More generic apps, such as Picsart, also have background removal features.
But PhotoRoom has focused on one niche in particular – small businesses selling items on eBay, Poshmark or Depop. With just a few taps, these marketplace experts can process a batch of images and create ready-to-use images. It can help them save a lot of time and sell more products.
Behind the scenes, PhotoRoom uses deep learning to identify different objects and elements in an image. A flat image becomes a multi-layered image, meaning users can delete the image background, blur it, or replace it with something completely different. The same technology can be used to retouch images and remove unwanted objects.
PhotoRoom has a large library of background templates and helps you export images in different formats considering each platform’s limitations.
And it has worked remarkably well as the company managed to attract 40 million downloads on iOS and Android. There are 7 million monthly active users and hundreds of thousands of users pay a subscription fee to unlock all the features of the app. It currently costs $9.99 a month or $69.99 a year.
Next, PhotoRoom wants to bring generative AI to its app, starting with Stable Diffusion. That is why it is raising money as the company has been profitable with its current team.
“Until now, we grabbed an object and we erased the background. But then users have been looking for a background to put the object back in front of a template,” said co-founder and CEO Matthieu Rouif.
With a text message, PhotoRoom will generate a marketing product image based on your object. The feature will first be available in beta for some users. It will be rolled out to all users gradually.
“By focusing intensely on the needs of the users, Matthieu and Eliot have created a product that stands out from the rest. The importance of online photography is immense, and PhotoRoom has both the traction and ambition to become a market leader, Balderton Capital partner Bernard Liautaud said in a statement.