Spectrum Equity is pleased to announce the sale of PicMonkey, a SaaS-based photo editing and graphic design platform, to Shutterstock. By joining forces PicMonkey and Shutterstock will empower creative professionals to produce their best work using a vast library of content and innovative, collaborative tools.
Spectrum originally partnered with founder Jonathan Sposato and acquired a majority stake in PicMonkey in 2015. Our thesis was straightforward: the internet has come a long way since the early days of text-heavy websites and engaging visual content has become the centerpiece of digital communication. Driven by the proliferation of self-publishing platforms and online marketing, consumers, small businesses, non-profits, educational institutions, and large enterprises alike needed tools that would support high-velocity creation of high-quality content that could be distributed across an ever-growing set of channels. In that context, relying solely upon a dedicated marketing or graphic design team would mean bottlenecks and lost time, money and opportunities. For large enterprises, decentralized teams working across social media, email marketing, and content marketing would need to create content daily and even hourly to engage their audiences. For bloggers, solopreneurs, SMBs, non-profits and educational institutions, hiring a professional photographer and graphic designer to provide steady streams of marketing collateral would be prohibitively expensive or time intensive. In a world where the average person resorted to using Microsoft Paint or PowerPoint as a makeshift graphic design tool – or simply did nothing at all, which is a costly option in an increasingly visual internet – we saw PicMonkey as an easy-to-use, web-based photo-editing and design platform that was so simple and intuitive that anyone, regardless of skill level, could quickly create their own sophisticated and professional designs.
Over the course of our ownership, Spectrum helped recruit several key executives into PicMonkey, many of whom we had worked closely with before. CEO Frits Habermann was the CTO and Head of Product at Lynda.com; Board member Brian McAndrews was on the board of Grubhub. Their familiarity with scaling similar business models was valuable in guiding PicMonkey’s growth over the years. We also helped to recruit several other members of the broader team and grew revenue and profit meaningfully.
With Spectrum’s support, the company released a new product platform that enables real-time collaboration and editing, launched new basic, professional and team product skus, and introduced higher-value packages that resonated with the broad base of PicMonkey subscribers who utilize the platform’s most innovative and powerful capabilities. These premium subscription plans now represent more than half of the company’s recurring revenue. These efforts enabled PicMonkey to service nearly three hundred thousand subscribers in the last year, who collectively created over 38 million pieces of digital content. The importance of enabling anyone and everyone to create visual content has only increased since the time of our original investment in PicMonkey, and we’ve been thrilled to see so many people utilizing PicMonkey’s easy-to-use, powerful platform to create so many stunning images and designs.
PicMonkey represents another investment from Spectrum’s self-service SaaS and creative tools portfolio. We are firm believers that the internet can enhance the way people create and communicate, and along with our investments in Lynda.com, SurveyMonkey, Lucid, Jimdo, Animoto, Prezi, and Kajabi, PicMonkey is a great example of a platform empowering people to create and share content that makes the internet more visual and engaging one design at a time. Thank you to our fantastic partners at PicMonkey, and congratulations to the team at Shutterstock!
For more information on the transaction, read the official press release: Shutterstock Acquires PicMonkey, A Leading Creative Design Platform.