02/07/2019 – Indonesia headquartered AI-powered photography platform SweetEspace announces a successful US$6M Series A co-led by Openspace Ventures and Jungle Ventures. The round was also joined by Burda Principal Investments and previous investors including East Ventures, Beenext, Skystar Capital, and GDP Venture.
Founded in 2017 by David Soong and serial entrepreneur Emile Etienne, the company started as a platform to connect travelers with over 10,000 photographers across 500 cities providing an accessible way to capture their special memories and moments.
Etienne said: “We started SweetEscape to address a problem in the travel photography segment but as we continue to scale, we started to observe a broader usage of our platform beyond travel. The growth in non-travel (birthdays, baby showers, graduations, family photoshoots and others) have consistently exceeded our expectations. With this new funding and the support of the investors, we will focus in strengthening our foothold in Asia while building our presence in new markets around the world.”
Soong previously founded Axioo, a photography and videography company specializing in wedding, engagement, and family portraits. While Etienne was the co-founder of Bridestory, a wedding marketplace that was recently acquired by Tokopedia.
“I have been a photographer for the past 20 years. 70% of a photographer’s time is spent not taking photos. Our platform makes their lives easier – with us handling 80% of the photographer’s workflow and post-production – increasing photographers’ productivity and income and allowing them to pursue their passion,” said Soong.
SweetEscape is the leading AI imaging technology in the region. Providing services such as one-click photo session booking and photos from a session can all be downloaded through their app in 48 hours.
The fresh capital will be utilized to develop the startup’s AI capability which is used to automate images’ post-production process in a shorter time frame compared to traditional ways.
Headquartered in Jakarta, the startup has over 100 employees across 3 different cities, Jakarta, Singapore, and Manila, and is looking to double the current team size by the end of the year.