Facetune App Maker Lightricks Secures $135 Million at a $1 Billion Valuation

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by Teuta Franjkovic · 3 min read
Facetune App Maker Lightricks Secures $135 Million at a $1 Billion Valuation
Photo: Lightricks

Jerusalem-based Lightricks – the developer behind subscription-based content creation apps Facetune and Enlight announced that it’s secured $135 million in series C funding at a $1 billion valuation.

Jerusalem-based software startup, Lightricks, a maker of photo and video editing apps, announced they had raised $135 million in Series C funding. The deal values this unicorn at $1 billion.

The round was led by Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing with participation from additional investors including Insight Partners and ClalTech. The latest financing brings Lightricks’ total funding to $205 million to date and it’ll see Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing’s Kirk Lepke join the board of directors.

Lightricks is the maker of popular photo editing application Facetune that enables its users to ‘retouche’ themselves covering gray hair, refining jawlines and reshaping their noses. It was first introduced around six years ago, and it quickly climbed to the top of the download charts, becoming Apple’s most popular paid app of 2017.

Along with Facetune, Lightricks has three more divisions with six products in the photo and video editing sector, including Swish, which recently partnered with payments company Nets.

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.

The company made a jump from a one-time payment model to subscriptions in 2015, and it turned out it is great for business. The startup is profitable, with 3 million paying subscribers and with revenue that has tripled each year over the past three years.

As they said from the company this 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. Lightricks also plans to increase its current team of 250 across Israel, the UK and opening a third office in Germany.

Zeev Farbman, Lightricks co-founder and CEO said they are excited to reach this milestone, but that this is only a start of their mission. He said:

“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.”

He added that their founding team includes experts who were and that fact is the reason why they succeeded in attracting a strong team at the beginning.

“And once you’re hiring the best people, you’re probably going to build the best software. And if you’re building the best software, you can charge premium prices for that.”

He also spoke of the body image debate the app had prompted when famous model Chrissy Teigen said she was too much photoshopped on the cover of one fashion magazine. Farbman said the company sees itself as “democratizing retouching and educating users about how powerful image processing” can be.

“If you go back 10 years, people didn’t understand that the people they were seeing on magazine covers had undergone the Photoshopping process.”

Christian Resch, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing, commented that they were pretty impressed with Lightricks’ growing path, the technology they are using and talented management team.

Harley Miller, board member from Insight Partners, said:

“We are firm believers in Lightricks’ vision to bring content creation to everyone. Since last year, the company has tripled revenues, released several new innovative products, and opened a third international office. We believe that Lightricks is solidifying its standing as the category-defining, clear market leader.”

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Teuta Franjkovic

Experienced creative professional focusing on financial and political analysis, editing daily newspapers and news sites, economical and political journalism, consulting, PR and Marketing. Teuta’s passion is to create new opportunities and bring people together.

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