Facetune parent company Lightricks secures $135m

1 Aug 2019167 Views

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Another round of investment has brought Lightrick’s total funding up to $205m to date.

Yesterday (31 July), Jerusalem-based software company Lightricks announced that it has secured $135m in Series C funding, bringing it to a valuation of $1bn.

The funding round was led by Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing. The round also saw participation from Insight Partners and Claltech, bringing Lightrick’s total funding up to $205m to date.

The company was founded in 2013, developing photo and video editing apps that are used by millions of consumers and businesses worldwide.

Over the past three years, Lightricks has tripled its revenue each year, which the company attributes to its adoption of in-app subscription plans. It now has 3m paying subscribers and 180m downloads worldwide.

The most well-known of these applications is Facetune, an iOS and Android app that enables users to edit, enhance and retouch photos on a mobile device.

While the app is widely used, it has been a source of controversy in recent years. Criticism has primarily come from parents and organisations concerned about the implications that photo enhancement apps have on the self-esteem of young people.

Despite these concerns, Facetune was the Apple App Store’s most popular paid app in 2017 and it has steadily remained in the app charts since. This staying power likely explains the start-up’s success in recent funding rounds. Lightricks raised $60m less than a year ago, in November 2018.

Accelerating expansion

In a statement, Lightricks said that the investment will be used to accelerate the development of more powerful, cutting-edge AI-enhanced content creation tools, by making strategic acquisitions and expanding the company’s offices around the world.

Lightrick’s CEO and co-founder, Zeev Farbman, said: “We’re excited to reach this milestone, but we’re just getting started on our mission to create fun and powerful tools that reimagine the way content is created all over the world.

“As we accelerate our expansion, this additional funding will cement our position as the leader in mass-market content creation, which is proving to be a multi-billion dollar industry.”

Lightricks also announced that it plans to significantly grow its current team of 250, opening a third office in Germany to accompany its UK and Jerusalem offices.

Christian Resch, managing director of Goldman Sachs Private Capital, added: “We have been very impressed with Lightricks’ exceptional growth trajectory, outstanding technology and talented management team.

“Lightricks is a great fit within our strategy of supporting best-in-class technology entrepreneurs in their ambition to build global category leaders in large markets.”

Kirk Lepke, vice-president at Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing, will join the Lightricks board of investors.

Updated, 12.50pm, 1 August 2019: This article was updated to note that Lightricks raised $60m last November, and not $80m as was previously written.

Kelly Earley is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com