In a bid to beef up its portfolio before a scheduled year-end listing, Chicago-headquartered stock image and design business 123RF has acquired Pixlr, a cloud and mobile photo editor from US-based software firm Autodesk Inc. 123RF is largely run out of Malaysia where its top management team resides.
The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
The acquisition follows the purchase of UK-registered online design marketplace TheHungryJPEG last month by Inmagine Group that owns 123RF.
“With the addition of this powerful and free image editing tool, Inmagine Group, the parent company of 123RF, moves a step closer to its mission of creating a holistic creative ecosystem that makes great design accessible to all,” it said in an announcement on Monday.
Founded in 2008, Sweden-based Pixlr was acquired by Autodesk in 2011. At that time too, Nasdaq-listed Autodesk did not disclose the financial details of the acquisition. However, it had said that the acquisition “enhances Autodesk’s ability to provide image editing for its consumer products, such as the SketchBook product line”.
Pixlr offers a suite of cloud-based image tools and utilities such as photo editing tool Pixlr Editor, Pixlr Express, Pixlr iOS/Android App and Pixlr-O-Matic.
Since acquiring Pixlr, Autodesk has invested in expanding the portfolio and bringing powerful editing tools to millions of users around the world and in the process, growing the user base twenty-fold, the statement said.
However, now as part of its ongoing business model transition, Autodesk has decided to focus development resources on core product portfolio, according to Thomas Heermann, senior director for digital arts at Autodesk.
Meanwhile, this acquisition propels Inmagine Group’s unique monthly active users (MAUs) towards the 50-million mark in addition to a compelling mobile strategy with over 100 million installs of Pixlr mobile apps, creating a new vertically-integrated platform that delivers engaging user experiences to the creative community.
“123RF’s in-house production team of over 200 will begin working to expand the Pixlr content library as a value add to its users, ensuring Pixlr communities will continue to have access to new tools and content,” the company added.
Founded in 2000, the Inmagine Group currently has sites like 123RF.com, TheHungryJPEG.com, StockUnlimited.com and Designs.net. The company is looking to list 123RF by end of this year. While until recently, it was looking for an ASX listing at a valuation of over $220 million, it is now reportedly considering other stock exchanges in developed markets — Hong Kong, US, Japan, Singapore or even London,
In February this year, the company’s co-founder Andy Sitt had told this portal, “We will be announcing some acquisitions soon. We need some time to reconcile the business and then head for a bigger IPO.” The company later acquired TheHungryJPEG and it has now bought out Pixlr.