PhotoMasters, an online photographer booking platform based in Kenya is starting a Series A funding round to raise additional capital to continue the growth and development of the platform.
With over 41,000 people within Kenya, with 20% converting into confirmed bookings, the firm aims to incorporate offline photographers meet-ups as avenues to cultivate quality customer service and once proven a success way of connecting customers to professional photographers, the firm intends to roll out within the remaining countries in East Africa, i.e Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. While considering a mobile App for the service.
Founded by Sonia John and Michael F David, the platform’s increasing registry of professional photographers in Kenya aims to grant access to individuals, companies and organizations to such professionals with just a touch of a button.
Prior to starting PhotoMasters, Sonia John, Co-founder & CEO was a marketing coordinator for MTN and holds a BSc Economics and Statistics student.
As a student, Sonia was freelancing as a photographer and in the process fell in love with Photography and in July 2016, decided to start a business to benefit the society and professionals in the field she loved, photography.
The other co-founder and CTO, Michael F David has been a consulting associate at Visionary Arc where he designed business concepts and models that are focused on the gig economy and big data. With his interest in the shared economy and the way technology can be used to empower or connect people to professionals, PhotoMasters was the next best choice for him.
Speaking to TechMoran, Sonia said her inspiration started with a personal problem in the beginning.
”The only way I could get customers for my gigs was through referrals and social media,” she said. ”I was looking for a way to ease customer access to my services by creating a platform where direct connection was possible. I realized at the same time that several professionals were in my position. I decided to do something about that, with Michael we embarked on creating a platform that would fill this gap in the market.”
According to Sonia, while access to actual data on the performance of the creative industry in Kenya is difficult to come by, largely because of the public perception that the industry is not a commercially viable sector, obvious indications like the growth of creative spaces, tech hubs and art festivals tell a different story.
“The increase in number of people taking photography and videography as a profession has steadily increased over the years and so also has the customer demand for the provision of such services,” she told TechMoran. “PhotoMasters bridges the gap between increasing customer demands for professional services and freelancer professionals who offer such by creating a virtual marketplace for the exchange to occur.”
The scope of the PhotoMasters market covers over 15 different industries including, but not limited to, the film industry, the advertising industry, the wedding industry, the fashion industry and several others. This is because, all the industries mentioned above are part of the many that require the services of top- notch professional photographers. As such, Sonia says PhotoMasters market is well over KES 50 Million worth.
PhotoMasters makes money from bookings fees, advertising and changing price dynamics including the season, duration of booking and location of events.
Sonia tells TechMoran that although the creative industry is growing, most people and governments do not see it as a commercially viable sector, as such, no policies have been put in place to continuous develop creatives. This has resulted in photographers and others in this industry concentrating more on their art as opposed to the massive business opportunities available in this space.
“PhotoMasters is the first online photographer booking service in Kenya. Our goal is to disrupt the current referral method by linking customers directly to the service providers,” Sonia concludes.