Meero is building a worldwide community of professional photographers and serves as a platform to manage their photoshoots from the beginning to post-production. One of the company’s ultimate goals is to make the web, mobile apps, and other businesses look attractive to customers by helping them get quality and good photos. To continue its service and become the world’s leading photography platform, the company just raised a $230 million funding round.
Meero, a Paris-based photography platform founded in 2016, aims to reinvent the market for professional photography. The fund which came from three big accounts will be used to finance the company’s plan to incorporate Artificial Intelligence in the post-production of images for businesses like e-commerce or travel.
Eurazeo, Prime Ventures, and Avenir Growth are the top sources of the funding round, including participation from past investors. Last year, the company accumulated fundraising of $45 million, which sums up Meero’s fund to $300 million. Since its founding, Meero acts as a comprehensive marketplace for photographers from around the globe where different companies can choose a freelancer to take shots of its desired subjects. Photos will undergo post-production processes, and companies can get it back in less than 24 hours.
However, with the boom of social media sites such as Facebook, and most notably Instagram, companies see the need to integrate photos with their businesses, as it believes in attracting a wide variety of audience. These companies range from real estate industries, food, travel sites, retail to e-commerce, which demand professional and high-quality shots. In a world where businesses mostly rely on images to advertise services and products, Meero understands the need that is driving rapid growth.
And so the birth of automatic photo editing algorithms.
Today, Meero aims to connect professional photographers with clients and then uses AI to handle most of the post-production. If a photographer wants to accept more photo shoots, the AI-powered tool is capable of processing images in a few seconds, unlike a 60-minute photo shoot requires ample hours of editing. This innovation, created within the Meero Research Center, makes the lives of photographers easier and allows them to spend most of their time taking pictures rather than doing the editing.
Back in the day, Meero faced setbacks when businesses demand vast numbers of photos taken around the world, and local photographers had to do the photo shoots and to edit as well. Before the advent of AI technology, photographers had troubles in ensuring consistency of look and style in the post-production processes. A lone photographer retouching hundreds of photos via Photoshop and other editing apps would take longer time without even achieving the consistency it hoped.
Technology plays a vital part for companies that want to add real value to the market. Meero’s cutting edge technology for photo enrichment gives a solution to a problem that plagues professional photography — editing. It’s genuinely a laborious job which takes much effort and 20-40 percent of photographer’s time, Forbes reported. With the new AI production processes, it will be easier for the technical team to identify and create metadata for objects in the photo, making the job less time-consuming.
Moreover, the company aims to help photographers attract more clients, as it plans to open up the marketplace to individual customers. This means that aside from catering big brands, Meero will eventually reach out to private individuals who wish to experience the benefits offered by this platform. In two years, Meero is going to take photos for your wedding day, birthday occasions, and even your alumni homecoming event.
Thomas Rebaud, CEO and Founder, indicated that the amount of the round was a testament not just to the company’s growth, but also to its global goal. It has now 31,000 clients in almost 100 countries. The latest round will help Meero expand its services, including entering into the US market.
At present, Meero already employs 600 people across five offices in Paris, New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Bangalore as it works with major clients like Airbnb and UberEats. The company expects to double its manpower as it sees the growing need of some businesses to integrate images on their services and products. By the end of 2019, the startup predicts to increase its increasing tech team from 80 to 300 employees.