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Photo Editing App PicsArt Raises $10 Million

With 60 million users, PicsArt raises money for the first time.


PicsArt, a photo editing app and social network akin to Instagram, has raised $10 million in funding from Sequoia Capital.

The funding round is a first for PicsArt, CEO Hovhannes Avoyan told Re/code. As part of the deal, Sequoia partner Omar Hamoui will join PicsArt’s board.

As with Instagram, users can take photos through the app and add filters before sharing to friends they’ve connected with. PicsArt separates itself, though, with its editing tools: Users can insert drawings, text bubbles or clip art, plus a slew of other image elements, from within the app.

Avoyan says that despite the abundance of editing tools, he wants PicsArt to serve as a photo community for casual photographers, not professionals. He’s even fine with people editing their photos in PicsArt, then sharing them on other social networks, like Instagram.

In fact, a lot of people first learn about PicsArt through Instagram, says chief revenue officer Wilson Kriegel.

The San Francisco-based startup has gained more than 60 million monthly active users since launching in late 2011, according to Avoyan, who plans to use the funding to help grow PicsArt’s brand recognition. That means PicsArt has almost as many users as Pinterest, at least according to comScore.

The funding also represents a rising interest from investors in products where consumers are encouraged to create content to share on other social networks, like Facebook or Twitter. Giphy, a GIF storing and creation website, raised $17 million last week, and Bitstrips, a startup that lets people turn themselves into sharable cartoons, also raised $8 million in the fall.

One other point of interest: PicsArt didn’t simply take money from Sequoia because it was available. Avoyan says the firm’s experience with other social media companies was a big factor. Sequoia partners Roelof Botha and Jim Goetz invested in Instagram and WhatsApp respectively.

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