Managing photos in your own mobile application or developing a way to extract photos from services like Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, and many other similar services can be time-consuming and probably costly. But for services and companies interested in curating photos from around the Interwebs and displaying similar themed ones on their website or through their mobile application, there needs to be a simpler way.
And that’s where Chute comes into play. In February of this year, the service first launched and became highly touted as a developer-friendly way for applications to basically “curate, manage, and display” media files. To put it simply, as Rip Empson from TechCrunch described it, it’s the Twilio for Photos. It seems that both investors and companies have found that analogy quite appealing to them with many flocking to Chute for assistance with their media displays in their application and/or for their events and shows. Now, after initially launching at the Launch Conference in 2011 and then pivoting slightly from a consumer-facing service to a developer-centric one, before being a member of the Y Combinator family, Chute has certainly hit its stride and is moving forward to making big things happen.
Today, this Y Combinator company is announcing that it has secured $2.7 million in early stage funding from investors like Freestyle Capital, Battery Ventures, U.S Venture Partners, and several notable angel investors like Salesforce.com, Joshua Reeves (CEO of Zen Payroll), and the founders of Klout, Binh Tran & Joe Fernandez. It definitely seems like these investors understand the exciting need for companies to want to incorporate photos into their projects and applications without wanting to break the bank. As Ranvir Gujral, co-founder of Chute, explains: “The best brands and publishers in the industry are bringing user generated media alive and displaying it on their site, on their Facebook pages, in their mobile apps, or at live events; anywhere their content lives…With Chute, publishers, brands, and application developers no longer have to re-invent the wheel every time they want to build functionality to capture user generated media like photos.”
Another thing that investors have probably taken a look at is Chute’s amazing collection of customers and demand over the past year and a half with some notable publishers seeking to implement their own usage: NBCNews.com, Lucky Magazine, Taylormade, Havaianas, and live entertainment companies like the House of Blues and L.A. Live. All of this success has helped get the company noticed by a lot of key players. Take what they’re doing with NBC News…for the TODAY show, they’ve been able to help the production of the news and features by enabling the producers to merge fan photos and content in with their own editorial spin. Jen Brown, the General Manager of TODAY.com said “The Chute user experience integrates beautifully with our editorial product, making for a seamless user experience and maximizing engagement.”
The good news for Chute just doesn’t stop here either. Soon after receiving their funding investment, the company was selected by media giant Turner Broadcasting’s newest accelerator program, MediaCamp, which has become known as a selective program for digital media startups. As a member of the inaugural class, Chute, along with five other companies, will be given one-on-one mentorship with digital and television executives over the 12-week period. It’s Turner Broadcasting’s intent that the selected companies would spend their time focusing on commercializing their business to Turner’s entertainment, news, sports, and animation networks.
It looks like Chute is heading in the right direction with all of this good fortune. So what will Chute do with the $2.7 million that it raised? Well they just relocated to some more permanent office space in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco where they’re sharing it with at least 1-2 other Y Combinator companies. It also looks like the company will be on a hiring spree shortly looking for more talent to help further the product and help customers better implement it.
I’m certain that more customers are probably beating down on their door as a means of wanting to find out better ways to incorporate photos into their campaigns and projects. If you’re interested in checking them out, you can visit their brand new website by clicking here.