Israel’s photo-editing apps maker Lightricks raises $135m at $1b valuation

Israel’s photo-editing apps maker Lightricks raises $135m at $1b valuation

Series C funding round led by Goldman Sachs investing arm; investment will help developer of Facetune app to create additional tools, expand teams

Lightricks' Facetune app (YouTube screenshot)
Lightricks' Facetune app (YouTube screenshot)

Jerusalem-based software startup, Lightricks, a maker of photo and video editing apps, said Wednesday it has raised $135 million in Series C funding. The deal values the company at $1 billion, the firm said.

The funding round was led by Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing, the investment arm of the financial services firm, with additional investors including Insight Partners and ClalTech. The startup has raised a total of $205 million from investors to date, the firm said in a statement.

Lightricks aims to “democratize creativity” by enabling amateurs to create digital content — photos and videos — through its apps, without expensive software.

The award-winning photo and video editing apps the startup has created, including its flagship product Facetune, are used by millions of consumers and businesses worldwide, and revenues at the firm have tripled each year over the past three years, the statement said.

Other products include the Enlight creative apps Photofox, Videoleap, Quickshot, Pixaloop, and the recent Swish.

The investment will be used to speed up development of more powerful, cutting-edge AIenhanced content creation tools, the firm said, by making strategic acquisitions and expanding the company’s offices around the world.

Lightricks also aims to “significantly grow” its current team of 250 in Israel and its London office and to open third office in Germany, the statement said.

“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,” said Zeev Farbman, Lightricks co-founder and CEO, in the statement. “As we accelerate our expansion, the additional funding will cement our position as the leader in mass-market content creation, which is proving to be a multi-billion-dollar industry.”

The founders of Lightricks, left to right, Itai Tsiddon, Yaron Inger, Zeev Farbman, Amit Goldshtain, Nir Puchter (Benny Gamzo)

Lightricks, founded in 2013, was one of the first app developers to create a subscription model on the App Store, proving that consumers are willing to pay for and subscribe to apps when they perceive value is offered, the company said.

Lightricks’ seven apps have over 180 million downloads worldwide and nearly three million paying subscribers. The company’s apps have won awards including Best of Google Play, three Apple’s App of the Year awards and the Apple Design Award.

Christian Resch, managing director, Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing, said Goldman has 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 directors.

Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing invests in mid-sized companies in Europe and Israel. Typically, it invests $20 to $200 million per transaction in return for equity.

Israeli startups in their growth stage are gaining access to larger pools of capital, especially from foreign investors, according to IVC Research Center, which tracks the industry. In the second quarter of this year, startups with initial revenue and revenue growth stages raised $2.02 billion in 70 deals, the highest amount since 2013, IVC said.

Lightricks’ news comes on the heels of an announcement by on Tuesday that it raised $150 million from investors in a bid to boost growth.

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