The VSCO Cam app for iOS and Android is immensely popular with users, and rightly so, as it’s one of the better photo editing apps available. Besides the basic photo editing tools most of us are familiar with, VSCO includes unique, highly stylized filters that give your smartphone photos new looks – all within a user interface that’s clean and easy to navigate.
The app, made by Visual Supply Company, a San Francisco Bay Area startup, also has additional features for discovering new photos and talent within the VSCO community of users – like its VSCO Grid publishing platform – many of them professionals and enthusiasts. This large following (the company says it’s in the tens of millions), plus its stunning smartphone app and desktop software, have just earned the company a $40 million investment from Accel Partners, a venture capital firm that was an early investor in Facebook.
VSCO “will use the funds to invest in product development, improve international infrastructure, and increase VSCO’s Artist Initiative scholarship fund to $1 million,” the company says in a press release.
“VSCO is one of those rare instances where great tools and passionate communities are colliding. They’ve long been the standard on desktop for beautiful photography, and are quickly becoming the go-to platform for mobile-first photographers and creatives,” says Ryan Sweeney of Accel Partners. “There’s a real movement happening here among VSCO users, and we’re ecstatic to be investing to help fuel and support it all.”
While the app is free, the company makes money by selling additional filters within the VSCO app, as well as its suite of VSCO Film desktop post-processing software for use with design applications such as Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, and Apple Aperture. (The company also launched the Essence/Archetype Collection for VSCO Cam, a $2 suite of eight preset filters that add analog film quality to photos.) According to VSCO CEO Joel Flory, the company was already profitable, but the investment pushes the company in pursuing its next endeavors.
Accel Partners saw something in Facebook, which is now the world’s largest social network (and poised to become even bigger). With this investment, it’s possible that VSCO could also be on its way to becoming something even greater.