Shahab Mirza C
Shahab Mirza, CEO of Coinaphoto.
Rebecca Wayman

Photo platform and marketplace startup launches £500k funding bid amid expansion plans

A photography platform and marketplace, Coinaphoto has revealed its expansion plans as it launches a £500k crowdfunding bid.

Coinaphoto - with bases in Dublin and Dubai - is currently the only platform in the world where both amateur and professional photographers can earn social as well as commercial revenue.

The company is looking to add video, music and software to its current offering, whilst it serves as a marketplace for buyers of locally and culturally relevant photography.

Offering investors the chance to own a 4.7 per cent stake in the company, funding with UK platform Crowdcube has got off to a strong start, with £149k (almost 30 per cent of the target) pledged in just 10 days.

Investors have until August 28 before the funding window closes.

Coinaphoto’s CEO, Shahab Mirza, said: “Just like Airbnb and Uber changed the way we book accommodation and find a taxi, we have focused on shaking up the billion-pound stock photography industry to reflect the way that we now live and work.

“The ability for Coinaphoto to earn commission without a contributor selling an image means we can generate new revenue streams out of the reach of our competitors.

“Coinaphoto is all about community engagement and we are the only platform where photographers earn tokens from social interaction. In line with our crowdsourcing approach to photography, where brands can connect with unknown creatives all over the world, it is fitting that we look for investment from communities.”

The cash injection will accelerate the company’s growth over the next four years. It plans to expand content and create multi-language websites and apps.

It will also offer brands valuable insight into photography trends, progress integrating user tokens earned through Coinaphoto with e-commerce and music streaming platforms and partner with blockchain companies to find new applications for its tokens.

In three years, Coinaphoto has built a global community of over 200,000 contributors and features 55 million images. The rewards-based system connects photographers with both brands and agencies, enabling creatives to earn up to 70 per cent commission for work.

Coinaphoto also incentivises its users to engage with the wider community through gamification - it runs ‘Photoduels’ photo competitions where a photographer challenges another user in the community to pitch a photo against their own.

The photograph with the highest number of community votes is named the winner, providing both tokens and a higher site ranking. To date, there have been 17,000 user-generated ‘Photoduels’ and 1.6 million votes cast.

The company’s live European Real Photography Awards with partners Pepsi and Lonely Planet, has also proved popular, attracting over 30,000 entries in its first year.

Coinaphoto is based at the Digital Hub - the largest cluster of technology, digital media and internet companies in Ireland.

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