Schaaf, founder and CEO of Imgur, which boasts in excess of 130 million unique monthly visitors has resisted any form of investment since forming the company in 2009.
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Alan Schaaf, CEO of Imgur, the San Francisco photo sharing service which he established in 2009, and grew it to one of the most significant companies in its niche, has raised an initial funding round of $40 million to take his company into the next stage of its expansion.
The funding round is being led by Andreessen Horowitz, one of the information industry’s most active venture capitalists. As part of the investment agreement, Lars Dalgaard, one of the general partners in the company will be joining Alan Schaaf on the Board of Directors at Imgur. Also taking part in the funding, for an undisclosed amount, will be Reddit, the community news-social web site, who have enjoyed a close working relationship with Imgur since their founding.
According to Schaarf, the capital injection will be utilized by Imgur to recruit further management staff to fill vital roles in the rapidly developing company, across its entire structure engineering, taking in sales and marketing, human resources, and financial control. To house all these new people, Imgur plan to be moving to newer and larger offices, hopefully in the very near future.
Discussing his resistance to date on courting or being courted by potential investors Schaaf confessed that they have actually been approached by a number, but did not need to take money as the company has been in profit from the beginning.
Alan went on to add that A16Z ( as Andreessen Horowitz are generally known in the fast paced high tech world ) were the only venture capitalists his company had ever approached, and after the first meeting, they arrived at the decision if they were to accept investment funding it will be from them.
“ We simply clicked on so many levels and they understand our company and the reasons we are building, and can be a big help while we grow, ” Schaaf added.
In response Lars Dalgaard admitted that they had been watching Imgur for years, and the way Alan and his team have committed to building for the community is truly impressive, with such an indigenous commitment to preserving an excellent user experience, and it’s no accident that this community has flourished.”
“ We hope to provide resources and guidance to help Imgur continue down this path, with the freedom to do even more to accelerate product innovation and community growth.” Summed up Lars Dalgaard.
Also happily taking part in Imgur’s funding round is Steve Huffman co-founder of Reddit, who provided Imgur with a platform for their services more than any other web site, with Alan Schaaf originally building Imgur as a ‘simple image sharer’ for the Reddit community.”
Commenting on their special working relationship. Schaaf hastened to point out that Imgur was originally launched on social networking service and news website Reddit, and we are honored that they have chosen Imgur to be their leading image sharing facility. Imgur is equally well known to users of Digg, who provide a similar service to that of Reddit.
“Until now there was no formal business relationship, but now there is, and we are really excited to work closely with Reddit to bring some new excitement mutually beneficial features two members of both communities.” Alan summarized the two company’s special relationship.
Alan Schaaf founded Imgur in 2009 while he was a student of computer science at Ohio University, and for the first two years the company’s offices were based in the city of Athens in Ohio before moving to San Francisco.
Initially intended as an ancillary service for Reddit users, Imgar took off almost instantly from launch, jumping from a thousand hits per day to a million total page views within less than six months, with income being generated through display ads from May 2009, while further income was generated by the introduction of sponsored images and self-service ads on to the site during the course of last year.
During 2013, Imgur’s web presence received further credibility with the launch of its own mobile app as well as a meme generator tool, with the news being downloaded in its hundreds of thousands. .
A further milestone was reached in September with the announcement that Imgur had arrived at one hundred million unique monthly visitors.