Startup Company Raise $6.5 Million to Further 'World's Greatest Photography Game' Platform

A startup based in Tel Aviv, Israel, have raised over $5 million in Series A funding to further a mobile app they are calling “the world's greatest photography game.” GuruShots is turning photo-taking into a game in which users rank each others’ photos in order to score points.

The $5 million raised stems largely from Altair Capital, Buran Venture Capital, and Ervington Investments Limited. Including this new financial addition, the startup is working with a total of $6.5 million.

GuruShots' image-ranking platform combines the virtual world of mobile games with real-world photo-taking, gamifies photography, and inspires anyone to show off their best shots, receive real-time feedback, and even win a spot in international photo exhibitions.

The money is to be used to accelerate their global scale-up. GuruShots founder and CEO Gilon Miller noted that the company’s rapid growth “will include enhanced product development and building up our customer acquisition capabilities.” Despite sounding like the company is trivializing photography by turning it into a game or competition, Miller claims Gunshots is instead on a mission to “help make [everyday photos] more meaningful.”

GuruShots turns photography into a global online competition, whereby users can submit photos based on daily themes, before having work rated by others. The highest ranked photos are promoted, and users receive real-time feedback.

Since launching back in 2015, GuruShots has also begun hosting five monthly photo exhibitions around the globe. The platform now tallies 4 billion votes per month across 500+ challenges, with more than $600,000 in prizes awarded in total.

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Duane Klipping's picture

Problem is the "game" is rigged and users have to purchase keys in order to advance or to win. The prizes are mostly nothing more than bundles of keys and swaps and imo have no real value unless you play more. So no thanks, played the game but realized it is not worth the time or effort and time would be better spent shooting or promoting your work. To me it is Instagram on steroids.

As far as the galley competitions you again need to pay 7.50 with no promises unless you play very hard and buy swaps and keys.

Yeah, I know of two similar types of setup. I could see no benefit to it. You are 100% correct in your assessment.

Douglas Turney's picture

I love the part about "...receive real time feedback, and even win a spot on international photo exhibitions." Boy I wonder what level of quality that real time feedback will be?? Let's see, it will be either "Wow, great capture." Or "You suck." And that international photo exhibition will be a page on their site that they simply throw a bunch of photos on.

Agnieszka Jakubowicz's picture

Does anyone know what happens to image rights after you post to that platform? Do you give up the licensing to them?

Alexander Lobozzo's picture

You maintain the rights to your images, and if you post an image that you do not own the rights to (and get caught) they kick you off the app.

Paul Asselin's picture

Why does everything have to be a 'game'.? Cooking contests, home reno contests, fake sport contests, and now a photo game? What happened to collaboration and constructive criticism for the sake of improving someones photoskills? This thing is no more a game than the Oscars are a true measure of the film arts.

Alex Reiff's picture

It's psychology. Points in a game are a more tangible reward than improved skills, and the human brain seeks out tangible rewards. Even video games have been restructured to be now reward-based, to keep people playing longer. Also, competition, even if they're not directly participating.

Alex Reiff's picture

I tried this out last year. Most of the photos on there are low quality snapshots, and you have to open the app to vote several times a day (or buy boosts if you're a real sucker) to keep your exposure up. I got tired of it within a week.

Maximilian Sulzer's picture

Exactly why i got rid of it as well. You have to click yourself through thousands of really really bad snapshots to maintain visibility of your own photo.

Or you pay for it.

Greg Wilson's picture

Well, it's mainly about the game of raising investment rounds I guess ;)

Crystal Johnson's picture

I'm just going to paste my response that I posted on PetaPixel(you guys sure do like copying them on here ...can we say plagiarism? lol)

Gurushots is a money pit much like Viewbug is. It's deploys certain tactics to make you want to waste money on their system. They have boosts and voting can increase your views which could increase your rank. However, that boost QUICKLY dies down and you're yet again required to vote or boost. Those with bigger followings tend to fall higher in the ranks, there is no blind voting. The prizes are b*llshit, as are their exhibitions.

Alexander Lobozzo's picture

I can't believe there is so much hate for this app. Yes, they give you the option for in app purchases (just like EVERY APP EVER) While i do agree that you do not get much, if any, useful feedback, i like this app for giving me inspiration for different projects.

I'm sure i am not the only one who has gone out to take some photos, and end up feeling lost and frustrated that there is "nothing" to take a photo of-- the challenges put out in Gurushots help give me some creative direction.

Its a fun, and different way to display photos. The competition element of is just makes it that much more fun. Maybe the haters would be happier if FStoppers ran some sort of photography competition-- oh-- wait......never mind ;)

I absolutely agree. I'm a hobbyist just starting off with photography, and just love taking photos of anything and everything, yet sometimes it's great to get a theme and try to come up with something.
The app may not do anything for professionals, but for someone just starting off it's great for ideas, feedback (in the form of votes, not much use of comments), and see what others come up with on the same theme.
As for in-app purchases, I've not spent a single cent on the app, you do get those keys, fills and swaps for free here and there, just use them wisely. If anything it limits the time I spend on the game as I need to be more selective with participation.
All in all, I think Gurushots is good fun and I feel it has helped me develop my skills so far.
Btw, it says gunshots in one place :D

Scott Wardwell's picture

Great. Another way to waste time and money online. This whole story reeks of a press release.