123RF acquires mobile photo editor Pixlr to create a holistic creative environment

Tue Apr 25, 2017 - 7:41am GMT+0000
123RF acquires mobile photo editor Pixlr to create a holistic creative environment

After purchasing online design marketplace TheHungryJPEG just a month ago, Malaysian stock photo startup 123RF has made its second acquisition Pixlr, one of the world’s most widely used cloud and mobile image editing tool from Autodesk, Inc.

The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

The acquisition will help its parent company, Inmagine Group expand the offering of its creative suite, adding on photo editing tools that will move it closer to create a holistic creative ecosystem that makes great design accessible to all.

Besides, this is also a move from the Chicago-headquartered stock image business to strengthen its portfolio before a scheduled year-end listing.

Founded in 2008, Sweden-based Pixlr is a free and powerful image editing tool. It offers cloud-based image editing tools and utilities such as Pixlr Editor, Pixlr Express, and Pixlr-O-Matic photo editing app for iOS and Android.

The startup was previously owned by 3D software maker Autodesk via an acquisition in 2011. Since acquiring Pixlr in 2011, Autodesk has enhanced its ability to provide image editing for its consumer products such as the SketchBook product line.

However, now as part of its ongoing business model transition, Autodesk has decided to focus its development resources on the company’s core product portfolio. This, according to Thomas Heermann, the senior director for digital arts at Autodesk is the reason behind the divestment.

Meanwhile, the acquisition will also increase Inmagine Group’s unique monthly active users (MAUs) towards the 50 million mark in addition to a compelling mobile strategy with over 100 million installs of Pixlr mobile apps, thereby creating a new vertically-integrated platform that delivers engaging user experiences to the creative community.

“123RF’s in-house production team of over 200 will begin working to expand the Pixlr content library as a value add to its users, ensuring Pixlr communities will continue to have access to new tools and content,” said Inmagine Group and 123RF Founder and Chairman Andy Sitt.

“Our team of engineers is already integrating Pixlr’s platform with 123RF, and we should see some level of integration in Q3 2017,” he added.

Founded in 2000, the Inmagine Group has built an ecosystem of websites and services like 123RF.com, StockUnlimited.com, and Designs.net. The company is looking to go public by the end of this year to raise additional funding for its growth.

Pixlr will maintain its own brand under 123RF’s operation in the interim until both platforms are integrated.

By Vivian Foo, VCNewsNetwork