When Facebook agreed to acquire Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock back in April 2012, the world balked at the price. Instagram was only a 17-month-old company at the time that had just launched on Android, and there was no income on the horizon.
Well, fast forward two years, and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg looks like a genius for making the deal: Instagram is estimated to be worth $35 billion now.
Photo sharing is big business. Just ask Snapchat‘s founders. The service (launched in late 2011) has managed to raise somewhere in the neighborhood of $60 million in venture capital funding, an investment that pegs the value of the company at a staggering $800 million.
To say that SnapChat has taken off would be an understatement. When we first wrote about the app in December of last year, we were impressed that the (not entirely) self-destructing photo messaging app had managed to raise over $10 million at a $70 million valuation. Now, if we add a zero to each of those numbers we’d still fall short of what several sources are expecting from the SnapChat’s latest round of funding. Read more…
The business world let out a collective gasp when it was announced back in April that Facebook had agreed to acquire Instagram for a whopping $1 billion. Eric Savitz of Forbes points out that photo publishing company Shutterfly — which has the same market valuation as Instagram — may actually be a smarter buy:
Shutterfly this year is expected to post $582 million in revenue, up a gaudy 137% since 2009. As of the end of March Shutterfly had zero debt and $144 million in cash with another $100 million due to flow in this year. At a market cap of nearly $1 billion, Shutterfly is being told by the stock market that it is worth the same as Instagram, which being acquired by Facebook for $1 bil- lion in cash and stock. While Insta- gram has far more users (30 million), it lacks a few business essentials such as revenue, profit and scale. Instagram has about a dozen employees. Shutterfly, with 1,000 employees, produces photo books, prints and other goods in factories in Phoenix and Charlotte.
An interesting fact from the article: by 2015, Americans will take an average of 322 photos per person per year, or roughly a photo a day.
Leave Instagram To Facebook: Shutterfly Is The Better Buy [Forbes]
Image credit: shutterfly by kate at yr own risk