500px announced that Visual China Group (VCG) — aka China’s Getty — has acquired 100 percent of its shares. Thanks to 500px’s huge user base, the move means that VCG is now the world’s third largest visual content provider.
Boasting over 13 million members, photo sharing site 500px has often been considered a rival to the likes of Flickr. VCG was said to have been attracted to acquiring the platform as a means of “expanding its visual content licensing business.”
Exact details of the deal are unconfirmed, although one report suggests a figure of $17 million. Back in January 2016, VCG also acquired Corbis, Bill Gates’ photo licensing agency.
After ousting 500px co-founder Oleg Gutsol a number of years ago over disputes about the direction of the company, a previous investment by VCG had seen the photo sharing platform direct more focus toward the Greater China market, after which the company even launched in China shortly after VCG’s $8 million investment in 2015.
VCG will now have influence over the future direction of 500px. It’s said the two companies will combine resources for future updates and features, which this year should include greater statistics for photographers to better understand the reach of their work.
Amy Jun Liang, Chief Executive Officer of VCG, said:
As one of the largest visual-content-licensing companies in the world, VCG has always been excited by the passion of the 500px community […] by integrating our learnings and resources across both 500px.com and 500px.me, we will further enrich our content creation, technology expertise, product offering, and continue to deliver the best service and experience to our millions of visual creatives."