SweetEscape raises $6M Series A to transform multi-billion dollar photography industry
The fresh round of financing will be used to develop its AI technology and to strengthen their presence across Asia. Headquartered in Jakarta, the Company currently has over 100 employees across Jakarta, Singapore and Manila and the Company plans to double the team size by the end of 2019. SweetEscape was founded in 2017 by David Soong and Emile Etienne, who were also the founders of Bridestory, Southeast Asia’s largest wedding marketplace platform, which was recently acquired by Tokopedia. The founders’ vision is to build a global photography platform that will bring accessibility and change the way consumers appreciate memories and photographers globally manage their business. SweetEscape has managed to scale to over 500+ cities across 100+ countries globally with thousands of photographers in their network within the past two years. David Soong, CEO and Founder of SweetEscape. said: “Our ultimate mission is to empower the photographers’ community while providing consumers with affordable access to quality photos anywhere around the world. I have been a photographer for the past 20 years. 70% of a photographer’s time is spent not taking photos. Our platform makes their life’s easier - with us handling 80% of the photographer’s workflow and post-production - increasing photographers’ productivity and income and allowing them to pursue their passion. To do this, our goal is to leverage AI image processing technology to accelerate and automate the post-production process”. The Company is focused on being the first AI imaging technology in the region to lead the innovation and the transformation in this $80 billion photography industry. The business was first established to solve a very simple problem, which is to allow consumers to discover local photographers while traveling and to ensure the memories are captured by locally curated professional photographers. Today, SweetEscape has serviced thousands of customers across hundreds of countries and the bookings have more than quadrupled since launching in 2017. Emile Etienne, COO and Founder of SweetEscape, said “We started SweetEscape to address a problem in the Travel photography segment but as we continue to scale, we started to observe a broader usage of our platform beyond travel. The growth in non-travel (birthdays, baby showers, graduations, family photoshoots and others) have consistently exceeded our expectations. With this new funding and the support of the investors, we will focus on strengthening our foothold in Asia while building our presence in new markets around the world”.