Early-stage fund Quarizon invests in photography venture Pictor

Pictor Imaging Pvt Ltd, a Mumbai-based product photography startup, has raised an undisclosed amount in investment from early-stage investor Quarizon Consultancy Services LLP.

Pictor will use the funds to build its team, develop technology and create marketing campaigns, the company said in a statement.

The startup was set up in November 2015 by Neelesh Soni, Siddharth Chilukuri, Gaurav Raj and Akshay Sathaye and is aimed at online e-commerce sellers. Users can click a picture from their mobile phones of the product they want to host on their website or in catalogs. These images will then be sent via the mobile app to Pictor’s team of professional graphic artists, who will then process the images to ensure that they are of the highest standards of quality. 

Pictor aims to standardise the pricing and processes of product imaging by using image processing algorithms, computer vision technologies, machine learning and deep learning. The company intends to automate its backend technologies.

“This unorganized industry is a constant source of dissatisfaction for customers. We felt that many problems related to accessibility, reliability and transparency could be solved with technology and operational excellence,” Soni said in the statement. “Our mission at Pictor is to make product imaging standardised and more transparent. Using image processing algorithms and machine learning, we provide the most advanced and automated solutions in the industry.”

New Delhi-based Quarizon invests in early to growth stages of startups targeted at the business-to-business-to-consumer segment as also ventures in sectors including vocational education and edu-tech, tech-enabled problem solutions, IT/ITeS business enablers, clean-tech and Internet of Things. 

Quarizon's previous investments include OurInitiative Media Pvt Ltd, an out-of-home media company in April this year. In October, it also invested in BeatRoute, a mobile-based platform that helps consumer goods and consumer durables companies with their last-mile sales operations.

Pictor claims to have completed a pilot test with major e-commerce companies in India. It has also begun work with the instant delivery wing of Amazon Now (similar to Amazon’s PrimeNow in the US) to help increase their inventory. Besides enterprise clients, Pictor has active paying users from India as well as from countries such as Belgium, the US and Egypt.

Prior to Pictor, Soni, Chilukuri and Raj founded Rhapsody Labs, where they built augmented reality solutions and fully automated product photography studios for retailers.

Other photography startups that have recently been in the news are Mumbai-based AIE Services Pvt. Ltd, an on-demand photo service venture launched in May that is seeking to raise seed funding to expand its operations.

In August, Info Edge (India) Ltd led an investment round of Rs 20 crore ($3 million) in Bengaluru-based online photography startup Canvera Digital Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Canvera became one of the first startups to report a down round, which is a term that indicates fresh funding received by a startup at a lower valuation than its previous VC round. Canvera provides design services, prints photo books and offers professional photographers Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based solutions.

In April, Delhi-based Addazz Online Services Pvt Ltd that operates PicsDream, an online marketplace for photographs, secured angel funding from a group of angel investors led by chairman and managing director of Quatrro Global Services Raman Roy.

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