Making sure that a startup company has a clear vision, a carefully crafted company culture and a business model that has been thoroughly validated by customers should be the focal points of the company’s Board work. What else is relevant?
Takeoff Partners adds UPGRD Photos (www.upgrdphotos.com) to its investment portfolio in conjunction with the company’s half-million euro seed round. UPGRD Photos looks to revolutionize the traditional school, sports and daycare photography that hasn’t kept pace with the evolving possibilities of digital photography.
The half-million euro seed round of UPGRD Photos consists of equity capital investments by Takeoff Partners and Icebreker Venture Capital Fund, and it also includes TEKES’ funding.
Productivity tool for pro photographers
Markko Vaarnas, Managing Partner of Takeoff Partners, comments on the investment: “From an investor’s perspective the SaaS angle of the UPGRD Photos is interesting: Essentially the service functions as a productivity tool for professional photographers, making it possible for them to expand their business with more imaginative design toolkits and a web shop with options for the consumers to order the photos printed on mugs, bags, mousepads, magnets, and so forth. The software that the photographer gets to use also handles the entire range of processes related to arranging a photo shoot, such as permissions, invitations, privacy settings, and sales figures.”
The new age of school and hobby photos
Says Kari Vähäkangas, CEO of UPGRD Photos: “We are extremely pleased with this funding round that’s our first one ever. We are looking forward to bring our kids’ school and hobby photos from the 1980’s to the modern ages. While the rest of the world is digital inside and out with instagrams, snapchats and all, school and hobby photos lag behind in the use of imagination even though they are taken by professional photographers. There’s a lot of talk in the media about the price of school photos, yet we think more important than the price is what consumers actually receive for their money, and we have a proven solution to improve that a lot.”
The official name of UPGRD Photos is Retouch Group Oy and it owns two brands, UPGRD Photos that’s a SaaS service for the international audience, and Oma Design that’s a professional photography service operating in the Finnish school, daycare, and sports club photography market.
Markko Vaarnas, Managing Partner, Takeoff Partners
markko (at) takeoffpartners.com
CEO, UPGRD Photos
kari (at) upgrdphotos.com
URGRD Photos (www.upgrdphotos.com) has a mission of revolutionizing the school, sports and daycare photography. With professional graphic design and advanced photo editing possibilities, UPGRD Photos turns the traditional portrait-style photos into vibrant pieces of artwork that consumers love. Proven in the Finnish market with 1+ million euro in turnover in 2017, UPGRD Photos is now productizing its offering into a license-based productivity toolkit for professional photographers on a larger scale.