Linea, a trailblazing photo-sharing startup, recently shared some great news – they have acquired $4 million in seed round funding. This particular round will be dedicated primarily to product development.
The company CEO, Mr. Rowland Hobbs, shares more about this exciting news through an interview with Lead411:
Who are your competitors and how are you different from them?
Photo browsing has been around for a long time, since the first projector in the late 1900s, to the Carousel in the 1960s. However, this has always been one photo at a time in a slideshow format.
Linea is photo browsing that brings contemporary design, intelligence, and functionality to browsing our photos with a beautiful, scrolling Mosaic.
There is no one approaching photo browsing, sharing, organizing, printing or storage like we do. But of course we do bump up against Flickr, Shutterfly or Dropbox. We find our users come from those sites because they want to see their photos more than they want to be database managers. Linea is simply beautiful photo browsing, and our users love it.
What percentage of your marketing budget are spent on the following?
A. Advertising – We don’t currently spend on advertising.
B. Social Media Marketing – We spend a good deal of time internally on social media, but we don’t put extra marketing dollars into it. This is tied into our community outreach team which is the only photo app to have dedicated, live, customer support.
C. SEO – We spend on SEO and it is part of our user experience strategy. We combine this with our email marketing as a budget item.
D. PR – We do spend on public relations, as building our connection to the community is important.
E. Direct Marketing – Yes, we spend time and energy on email marketing.
What marketing tactic has given you the highest ROI? What percentage ROI do you get back on this?
Our community development, with our two dedicated community managers, results in the best engagement long term. The results have been a stunning 30% highly engaged (4+ times a week) user base; and another 40% that are using the app 2+ times a week.
What do you plan to spend your new funding on? Product development? Marketing?
We will dedicated most of our funding to product development. Our release this week allows you to import all your photos from Dropbox in a beautiful viewing experience, and expect us to come out of our private sharing mode in the summer to add much more rich public and social media features for photographers.
If this is your first round of financing and you’re the CEO, how many hours did you put into working on getting your financing? Was that taking up the most of your day?
We’ve been very fortunate to have an awesome super angle investor that has guided us since the start, and provided funding. So that hasn’t taken a lot of time for this round; however we are actively in discussions on our Series A which we hope to close in the fall. So that is increasingly taking time which is expected for our first institutional round. I actually enjoy the feedback and insight we get in these meetings.
If you are the CEO, what are your biggest challenges?
We are creating a change in how people view their photos. The challenge is to really connect with photographers who many people like to follow and view. So right now I’m looking to talk to amazing photographers, please contact us!
How many employees do you have?
We have eleven awesome, intelligent, fun employees.
When were you founded?
In the Fall of 2011.
How much did you revenue increase(if any) this year over last year?
We are focused on creating an awesome user experience right now and growing our photo enthusiast community; but we do have a healthy increase in our book orders month over month, but that isn’t our long term goal….but is great to see!
Want to know more about this recent funding? There’s more about it on this news release here.