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Foap Raises $500,000 For iPhone Photo Crowdsourced Image Bank

I wasn't sure what to think about Malmö-based Foap when they launched in June, but taking a second look they've have a pretty impressive run. The startup allows iPhone users to license and sell the pictures they've taken, so that blogs and businesses can use unique images in their materials. At the time I made a joke about pictures of cats and latte foam-art, but browsing their image bank you can find a selection of high quality photos. Today they announce that they have raised $500,000 (€395k) from Jade Global Investments, based in Asia.

Every imagebank must bring together a large collection of photographers, but Foap sources stock images from masses. So far, they've seen nearly 150,000 downloads and 1.4 million images uploaded to the app. Out of all of those, only 910,000 images have been approved, which is around 65%.

Each image is available for puchase at a flat rate of $10, of which half is shared with the photographer. At this time, they are unwilling to share how much traction they've gotten from actual purchases, but said they will come out with some numbers in a couple months.

With the funding announcement Foap has also released a few new features to help scale up their growth. Now users can invite friends and earn 10% of their future sales. In addition, Foap is crowdsourcing some of the image selection by letting the communtiy review images and accept them into the market. If an image has at least a 2.5 (out of 5) rating after five reviews, then the photo is accepted.

Foap is available as an iPhone app, with an Android app coming in a few months.

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