We track down the three Indian co-founders who moved on -- and talk to the fourth -- who continues to head operations after the acquisition by Hewlett Packard
The world’s most popular online photo finishing service is ten years old – and to mark its birthday, it is opening up its portal to embrace the creativity of graphic designers and developers everywhere.
Speaking to IndiaTechOnline last week, Bala Parthasarathy, co- founder of Snapfish ( www.snapfish.com ) and its managing director for the Asia Pacific and Europe region – he moved over when it became part of Hewlett Packard, 5 years ago -- explained the contours of the new initiative, Snapfish Publisher http://publisher.snapfish.com/ due to be launched next month. Designers, application creators and product suppliers, who are able to provided added value to its 85 million registered in 22 countries, with their users 10 billion--plus images up until now, will be able to keep 70 percent of the earnings from their ideas.
In India alone, Snapfish has over 900,000 registered users in India, with over 6 million pictures uploaded quarterly, making this the largest photo products service online in the country. Indian developers would be able to leverage the site a little later in the year, once the mechanisms for payments in India has been put in place, Bala said. Numbering over 2 million, the India developer community is the second largest after the US.
“We’ve had an incredible 10 year journey building a global family that has chosen Snapfish to share, preserve and print their memories in fun, easy and imaginative ways,” he added, “With the market for digital cameras here, expected to grow from the current 2 million units to close to 10 million units by 2015, we see a huge potential over the next 5 years – and with the adoption of the digital medium, consumers are increasingly using our products and services to share their memories with their friends and family in interesting and innovative ways”.
Digital printing has seen a growth of 975% in the decade that Snapfish is now celebrating. A recent global report by IDC Research predicts that more than 124 billion photos will be shared through social networks, like Facebook and Orkut, alone by 2013.
Snapfish was started in 2000 by four Indians, including Bala. The others moved on at the HP acquisition: Raj Kapoor joined one of the oldest tech venture funds in the US, the California-based Mayfield Fund ( www.mayfield.com ) where he is now Managing Director.
Suneet Wadhwa, left to start Engage.com ( www.engage.com ) a social networking site for online dating, where he is still CEO.
And Shripati Acharya is now Director Strategic Market Development Emerging Markets at Cisco and is based in Bangalore. “We are neighbours again after all these years”, says Bala, who shuttles between Bangalore and San Francisco, as he plans for the next decade of the consumer photo service that he and three Indian associates dreamt up a decade ago.
Bangalore May 17 2010