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Visual Creation App Publisher Lightricks Valued at $1.8 Billion for Series D Funding

App developer Lightricks has been boosted by a bumper Series D round with $130 million in funding and a valuation of $1.8 billion.

App developer Lightricks has been boosted by a bumper Series D round with $100 million in primary funding and $30 million in secondary. This brings the company’s cumulative total funding to $335 million through four rounds, which gives them an overall valuation of $1.8 billion.

Lightricks was founded eight years ago, and the Jerusalem-based company is well known for its popular photo and video editing apps. It gained unicorn status back in July 2019 after its Series C raised $1 billion but has seen significant growth during the pandemic.

Lightricks’s first-ever release was Facetune, but the startup’s leadership was able to refocus its efforts following that initial smash success and now offers a diverse set of over a dozen apps, including Videoleap, Filtertune and Beatleap.

The Series D round was co-led by Insight Partners and Hanaco Venture Capital who have worked closely with the company. Several other existing investors such as Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Claltech, Harel Insurance and Finance, and Greycroft returned. Three new investors jumped on board as well: Migdal Insurance, Altshuler Shaham and Shavit Capital.

In a statement, Insight Partners Managing Director Thilo Semmelbauer was effusive in his praise for the company. “We’re delighted to continue to team with Lightricks to help further professionalize the world of content creation,” he said. “We look forward to Lightricks building the future of this industry by continuing to supply creators with the highest-quality, most-preferred tools and technology. Lightricks allows people to showcase their individuality and brand on social media, whether for personal self-expression or for monetization.”

Through their suite of visual creativity apps including Facetune and Videoleap, Lightricks has had a considerable impact on the digital creator world already. The mobile-first product line has 29 million active monthly users, who collectively export some 78 million visual assets per month, according to Lightricks’s latest data.

What may excite investors most is Lightricks’s success with in-app purchases, successfully converting “freemium” users to paid subscriptions. In the past 12 months alone, the company’s portfolio of apps saw 42% growth in installs and 24% growth in paid subscriptions.

The pandemic has accelerated trends that make Lightricks ever more relevant, as more people take content creation seriously as both a pastime and a profession. It is these people that form Lightrick’s core market. Now the company will be able to invest more into improving their own products but have signalled intention to use acquisitions to further strengthen their offering.

“Our mission has always been to continuously strive to bring creators the most advanced technology and help them find new ways to express themselves,” said Zeev Farbman, co-founder and CEO of Lightricks. “The rise of the creator economy has only exacerbated the need of mobile users to streamline the content creation and monetization processes. With this latest funding, we’re able to help elevate our users’ creativity and capabilities with continued advancements to our technology and offering.”

While the company is based in Jerusalem, it also has offices in London, Shenzhen and Haifa. Having recruited 170 employees in the last year, they currently have 460 personnel altogether. The aim is to increase this to 1000 people by the end of 2023, creating jobs in the creative technology sector in the process.

Plans to expand operations in the US are also in the works, with activity to be centred around content efforts in collaboration with content creators. What’s more, a series of merger and acquisition targets, to be identified, may further increase the geographical spread.

The growth in planned headcount is considerable but consistent with Lightricks’s aim to increase revenue from $200 million in 2021 (to date) by 40% this time next year. Their growth so far indicates this is within the realms of plausibility, making Lightricks a leading light amongst Israel’s booming tech industry.

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