Scoopshot, a crowdsourced on-demand photography marketplace, has received $1.2 million (£790,000) in new funding, which will help the Helsinki-based company expand in the UK and the US.
The company already has a good presence in its leading market, Germany, with an estimated 66,000 users snapping away pictures on their smartphones in the hope of selling them on to individuals and companies.
Scoopshot claims its smartphone app, which enables photos to be uploaded to its site, has been downloaded by over 280,000 people across 177 countries. Their pictures can be sold by the site for $5 (£3.30) a piece, with the taker of the picture getting half.
The $1.2 million investment has come from leading global stock photographer Yuri Arcurs. He has perhaps seen a potentially lucrative market, as brands including Fiat, Oxfam, Malibu and Vogel’s are said to have used Scoopshot to source photos on demand.
The entry of large companies into the Scoopshot arena is bad news for professional photographers, who may miss out on exotic and lucrative assignments, but good news for the companies who will be able to commission cheap-working snappers on the scene to get any up-to-date pic they want.
Professionals will of course claim that many of these snaps will be either outright rubbish or of below professional quality. But with smartphones getting ever more powerful cameras - witness Nokia's recent Lumia 1020 and its 41-megapixel sensor - buying organisations may be willing to sacrifice professional experience for basic and cheaper pictures.
Professionals have the choice of dumbing down and getting their smartphones out to compete, providing they accept poorly paid assignments. Like most online sites that provide services, there are always those that appear willing to work for peanuts.
Competitors to Scoopshot include Foap, Rawporter and EyeEm.