Start-up photo-sharing site launches crowdfunding bid to create a ‘fair-trade’ model for image sales

Liam Bailey, who with his business partner, launched Photocrowd a year ago as an online platform for

Liam Bailey, who with his business partner, launched Photocrowd a year ago as an online platform for photographers to sell photographs and enter competitions. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

A start-up photo-sharing site which wants to establish a 'fair trade model' for image sales has launched a crowdfunding bid to drive the next stage of growth.

Photocrowd, co-founded by a Norwich photographer, has reached 70pc of its £450,000 target, and is calling on investors to help it through the final push before its deadline in two weeks.

Launched by Liam Bailey and Mike Betts in 2013, Photocrowd has 33,000 users and employs four people thanks to an initial investment round last year.

The site enables photographers to sell prints online, but now it wants to launch a licensing service - where companies can buy commercial stock images to use in branding.

'It will be a marketplace for pictures to be sold to brands,' said Mr Bailey, who works as a corporate and portrait photographer.

'People trust the fact we are going to return the money. It is going to be a viable marketplace, the growth is there.'

Mr Bailey said the site would give members 80pc of the licence fee, allowing photographers a greater share of the profits.

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'This is ground-breaking,' he said. 'We want to be the first fair trade model on photographs.'

While the photo-sale market is competitive, Mr Bailey said Photocrowd was different because of its fairer policy.

Now the business needs to raise the remaining money to pay for a group of developers to launch the next stage, which Mr Bailey hopes will go live in October.

'Norfolk has got some good angels and investor networks running,' he said. 'Someone may take an interest and invest that £5,000 that would just take us over.'

User subscriptions launched in March and reached more than £9,000 of gross profit in six weeks, with 3.7pc of active users subscribed.

Photocrowd is offering 20pc equity for the funding round.


Are you launching a crowdfunding bid? Call Sabah Meddings on 01603 772879 or email