Skip to main content

Traditional site photography vendors such as DEI Global, MagicMemories, Picsolve, and Sharingbox rely on fixed equipment, permanent staff costs, and on-site printed products. So Amsterdam, Netherlands Smile came up with a different approach. Freelance photographers can simply use the platform to browse events, sell event photography formally attached to the venue, and allow customers to purchase photos onsite or later online.

He has now raised an $8 million seed round led by Mosaic Ventures, with participation from Speedinvest, Dutch Founders Fund, PROfounders Capital and angel investors including Greg Marsh, who sold his startup onefinestay to AccorHotels for £117million.

The new funds will be used to expand into the UK, Netherlands, France, Spain and Italy.

Launched in May 2021, Smiler is an on-site photography marketplace used by freelance, professional and enthusiast photographers. They show the customer a QR code to connect them to the photos. Customers are then associated with their photo shoot, which they can then review and purchase.

This means that any photographer can then exchange in a large number of public places around the world, or in one of Smiler’s partner sites. He now has more than 9,000 photographers in his books.

“It’s not just professional photographers who become Smilers,” Kasper Middelkoop, CEO and co-founder of Smiler, said in a statement. “Many are talented young photography enthusiasts looking to make money with their skills and passion. The earning potential is significantly higher than through a traditional gig economy platform via a generous commission split , scalable control over the amount and frequency of work.

Smiler sites now include Manchester City Football Club, Montparnasse Tower in Paris, ARTIS Royal Zoo in Amsterdam and the Tower of London.

“At Mosaic, we seek out exchange platforms that delight customers and create new economic opportunities for vendors,” said Bart Dessaint, Partner at Mosaic Ventures. “In Smiler’s case, creating strong memories with loved ones for tourists and a new creative role for photographers is a perfect example of technology unlocking interaction that was previously unreachable.”