The image market is an $11 Billion dollar industry. Having been a budding Wordpress developer, fashion magazine publisher and prolific presentation creator, I appreciate the beauty in a simple image. Of course at a reasonable price, hence the rise of the MicroStock image industry.
Meet the Team
Frank (sitting down in the middle) who personally spent the last year shooting indoor and outside 30,000+ awesome images (~10,000 are on the site as it’s a mammoth task to edit, upload and annotate each image) is himself a prolific celebrity photographer. From working for Mercy Johnson to TuFace, Frank has shot them all. He was even my photographer at my wedding. Inspired by the titans of the micro stock industry, Frank and I decided that black Africa needed something as awesome. So after a few conversations we decided to cofound Foto. To create what didn’t really exist in Nigeria and Africa today. So far Spark has invested ~$70,000 and have another $80,000 for the first 6 months post-launch. It will be interesting to see ultimately how the market values the year of quiet hard work.
The team has grown from an initial 3 person team to 13 people working in our Spark building in Anthony. The team deal with everything from development, product management, customer support, image editing, photography and contextual search structuring. There are still over 20,000 images still to bring online over the next few weeks post beta launch but the plan is to have 100,000 images online and available before the end of the year. truly ambitious indeed but I at least have enough belief in the team to believe this a possibility.
The business model is simple. Pay to download any image of your choice. The most linear of ecommerce models. Digital distribution, as frictionless as can be. Pricing is stupidly simple dependent on size - N2,500 ($15) for a small 500k image to N7,500 ($45) for an XXL 11Mb image. We are still working on the most difficult aspect of microstock photography sites. Discovery. Finding that exact image you need is super difficult. From a human discovery to a contextual search algorithm perspective, we are trying to solve that as fast as possible.
A MicroStock Marketplace
Over the next few months we will be reaching out to other photographers with large image portfolios with the option to add their images to our library with the chance to generate revenue. We hope Foto can become the digital distribution marketplace for photographers across Africa. Again. Hope and belief.