Seed funding from Wave and Freestyle will help The Luupe expand its mission to streamline global content creation and generate income for photographers.

The creative economy, while catering to every brand’s needs, often leaves artists behind once the work is finished. There is friction in the process of connecting brands to photographers who can authentically reach their audience. And until now, opportunities to network beyond a single job have been limited.

Today, we’re excited to announce our seed round at The Luupe to help brands collaborate with photographers and to help these photographers generate guaranteed income. As a dual-sided marketplace, sophisticated brands have access to a burgeoning creative pool of women and non-binary creators.

One of The Luupe’s recent blog stories on brand + creative culture

In turn, photographers provide authentic visuals for brands that reflect a wide spectrum customers geographies and perspectives. We provide photographers with opportunities to network with each other, share technical tips, negotiation strategies, portfolio reviews, job opportunities, and use our blog to share stories on those driving visual culture.

(LEFT TO RIGHT) MEMBERS OF CHAI (YUNA, YUUKI, KANA/MANA) PHOTOGRAPHED AT TAMAGAWA RIVER IN NOBORITO, JAPAN ON APRIL 28TH, 2021. © SHINA PENG FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

 

© Jasmine Durhal. Los Angeles, CA. USA

We’ve teamed up with the best in the business, Sara Adler, General Partner at Wave, Jenny Lefcourt, General Partner at Freestyle and a group of strategic angels such as Tracy Kim, Former CEO of Aaptiv & Chief of Staff at Shutterstock; Jody Vandergriff, CEO at Seeker, Founder & CEO at WebDAM (Acquired by Shutterstock); and Lee Torrens, early employee at Canva. We’re grateful for the support of our investors and friends on our simple mission: The Luupe exists to help creators generate income.

© Nivi Shaham. From her series on weird food combinations. Los Angeles, CA

Customers expect their chosen brands to recognize their potential as impactful cultural entities across marketing and product, and use their influence to speak out on important causes. The Luupe helps brands achieve this impact and provides photographers with an unrivaled opportunity to generate income.

I’ll never forget when one of our photographers, Jordana Sheara told me how our community “provides a safe space and sense of belonging in a time where feeling connected and empowered is more complicated than ever.”

© Hayley Benoit for Yogamatters. London, UK.

“Even when gyms reopen, some people said they might continue working out at home.” © Sara Gilman/ The Luupe for Peloton, as featured in The New York Times

Not only did our platform give Jordana the opportunity to work with dream clients and brands she might have never otherwise been connected to – we were able to provide knowledge, respect, and compassion for the work Jordana and photographers all around the world do each day.

She went on to say how “The Luupe works hard to help clear the path for us to grow our business as well as our craft. They understand the nuances of the industry and are standing out as a beacon of light for talented photographers and creators who are often marginalized.”

 

© Sarah Natsumi Moore / The Luupe for Sweetgreen

The influence this community has on the images being created in a digital first world is limitless. The content this community creates has the ability to change the perspective, the conversation in advertising, and the world. We want everyone to feel reflected in the imagery they see. We want to help brands achieve this and connect with their audience.

© Lili Basic and Dea Botica / The Luupe for FCB/ Diners Club International

 

© Genya O’Neall/ The Luupe for Dorel/ Disney Baby

We are honored our founding photographers trusted us and helped grow and build this community along our side. We are humbled by the brands who first worked with us and have continued to come back for more content every month, every year. You believe in us and you believe in what we are building. As a female founded company who has faced many hurdles building this business – I want to say thank you.

Today’s announcement is just one step in this direction. We are beyond grateful for the support from all of our brands, photographers, and colleagues.

— Keren Sachs + The Luupe Founder & CEO