Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Among Backers Pumping $6M Into Photo-Editing Start-Up Aviary

Spark Capital, Bezos Expeditions and other strategic investors have poured another $6 million into Aviary, a photo-editing tools company.

Aviary said it is used regularly by eight million people across 1,200 partner apps including Flickr, MailChimp, Shopify, Box, TwitPic, and Halftone; in the past 30 days alone, the company has helped to edit more than 100 million photos.

Compare it to Facebook-owned Instagram’s filters, which help brighten or provide more contrast to otherwise drab photos. The difference is that Aviary is building a platform of tools that can be used across a wide range of apps and services. Its tools allow even poorly taken camera-phone photos to become more vivid (see photos on right), or take on different hues, like a “soft focus” or “indiglow.”

Aviary’s advanced features also provide tools for creating music and editing audio.

The company declined to announce who its strategic investors were, but said that the additional capital will be used to support new partnerships and build out the company’s team, with the goal of becoming “the industry standard for photo-editing APIs.”

My colleague, Peter Kafka, wrote about how Aviary raised $7 million from the same set of investors in 2009.

Here’s the full release:

Aviary’s usage skyrockets, raises $6M to grow team

New York – June 27, 2012 – Aviary, the leading cross-platform photo-editing solution, today announced a new milestone, having edited over 100 million photos in the past 30 days. Aviary’s platform is now used regularly by 8 million people across 1,200 partner apps including Flickr, Mailchimp, Shopify, Box, TwitPic, and Halftone.

To support their continued growth, Aviary recently closed a $6 million round of funding from Spark Capital, Bezos Expeditions, and to-be-announced strategic investors. The additional capital will be used to support new partnerships, continue to enhance the team, and cement the company as the industry standard photo-editing API.

“Aviary’s growth over the past year has been nothing short of remarkable,” said Mo Koyfman, General Partner of Spark Capital. “As the mobile photo category continues to explode, Aviary is poised to become the photo editing & creativity solution of choice for developers looking to deliver best of breed photo experiences to their consumers.”

Aviary’s recently launched “Photo Editor by Aviary,” a showcase mobile app for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone, offers developers a way to preview the host of photo-editing features available for implementation into their apps. The app also serves as an opportunity for consumers to install and try Aviary’s technology directly. It was an instant success, having been downloaded nearly a million times in it’s first week alone and recently moving into the App Store’s Top 25 list overall (and top 3 in the Photos category).

“We are thrilled with the positive response we continue to receive from developers, partners, and consumers using Aviary’s technology,” said Avi Muchnick, Aviary CEO & co-founder. “Powering millions of people’s photos every day is an incredibly motivating milestone on our company’s journey to power the world’s creativity.”

About Aviary
Aviary’s mission is to power the world’s creativity. Founded in 2007 and based in New York, Aviary’s technology is used by millions of consumers and over one thousand apps. Aviary’s effects and editing tools, combined with seamless integration, offers app developers unrivaled imaging capabilities at no cost. The SDKs are available for all major web and mobile platforms.

About Spark Capital
Spark Capital is a venture capital firm that partners with exceptional entrepreneurs seeking to build disruptive, world-changing companies. Founded in 2005, the firm is a tight-knit group of partners managing approximately $1 billion across three funds. Headquartered in Boston, Spark maintains an office in New York City and invests across the globe. The firm provides seed and early stage financing to emerging technology companies as well as growth capital to those looking to establish category leadership. Spark Capital invests across a number of key market segments including: advertising & monetization, commerce & services, cloud & infrastructure, social, mobile and content. Spark’s portfolio includes companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, AdMeld, OMGPOP, ThePlatform, IPWireless and 5Min. To learn more, visit www.sparkcapital.com.

About Bezos Expeditions
Bezos Expeditions is the personal investment company for Jeff Bezos.


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