YouPic, a Gothenburg based startup with intentions to supply a platform where photography enthusiasts worldwide can find inspiration, admiration and improve their photography. By sharing high quality photography, amateurs as well as semi-professional photographers use YouPic as a meeting place. This way of social learning is created by using the community knowledge amongst photographers.
Founder and CEO Navid Razazi describe how YouPic will help millions of photographers to improve on this simplified and fun platform for social learning.
The company had a splendid start as they won the Chalmers Innovation Start-Up camp in 2012, granting them some initial funds and office space. With these resources at hand YouPic began to iterate towards the future.
“I studied Technology Management and Economics at Chalmers and straight after graduation I started an online flirting community. As a born entrepreneur and hobby photographer, I felt an obvious need for a place to interact with other photographers and to be able to showcase my own photography and to learn from others. So I started YouPic.”
The company has then grown into a team of great developers and advisors that contribute to the traction to the website. Recently YouPic received major funding from two renowned angel investors in London allowing future expansion of the company. Navid and his team have set sight to be the obvious place for photography enthusiast around the world. In about 10 months YouPic is ready for a Round A investment.
Most of the photos that are uploaded on YouPic are high-end photography; high quality and high-resolution photos. The content showcased on YouPic comes from all fields of photography, from fashion to black and white or street photography. Each photographer has a ranking by expertise field, and in each expertise users can ask for advice. With a ranking system pictures can help users to filter the content.
“Basically, the users decide what content is best and they curate it for the community to enjoy… So photographers get awarded by other photographers.”
The social learning processes is usually initiated by users checking photo information regarding angles, settings and lenses then asking the photographers for their secrets. By trying to replicate their photos the users can measure their improvement on every new uploaded photo by the amount of love and shares from the community.
In the market research YouPic found out that there is an empty space in the improving and learning photography segment. Unique to YouPic is the focus on social learning in contrast to their competitors in photo sharing such as Flickr, 500px and others that are more focused at buying, selling, and licensing photography. Even though there are forums with tips on photography, Navid claims there are none of them that concentrate on the problem in helping people to improve their photography.
“This is a space that we found empty and we believe that with our service we will gain a lot of traction from people, and we have today about a 100.000 registered photographers worldwide.”
The future for YouPic looks bright according to Navid and in order to reach the goal of 1 million users within a year and a half they are now hiring for positions such as Tech leadership and Growth leadership.