Twenty20, a crowdsourced commercial image catalog, has launched out of beta with $8 million in Series A funding.
The Marina del Rey company evolved out of Instacanvas, which tried to sell Instagram photos printed on canvas, to focus on developing a stock photography service versed in millennial aesthetics for brands and advertisers.
“The iPhone and similar devices have really changed everything about photography,” said founder and Chief Executive Matt Munson. “It’s really created this new generation of people discovering photography for the first time … and there’s really interesting inventory being created at a scale that never existed.”
Twenty20’s library currently has 45 million photos that are crowdsourced from 250,000 mobile photographers, from professional shooters to Instagram hobbyists. Munson said Twenty20 wanted to offer mobile-first photos that felt visually authentic to younger demographics. Though photographers are free to submit as many of their images as they want, all photos are vetted through quality and legal reviews to ensure that brands and advertisers won’t face repercussions if, say, a trademarked logo or underage photo subject is in the frame.
Brands can pay for user-generated images a la carte or pay monthly subscriptions to access a set number of photos. Revenue shares with photographers vary depending on how images are used. Individually purchased images undergo a 50-50 split between Twenty20 and the photographer. For subscription purchases, photographers keep 20 percent. When brands directly hire a photographer for services, he or she pockets all of the revenue.
Munson declined to share Twenty20’s specific revenue numbers or the speed at which the company has grown.
The financing round was led by Canaan Partners, with participation from First Round Capital, Bullpen Capital and VersionOne Ventures.
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