Polaroid FotoBar investors including Hilco Global to acquire assets of innovative social media photo sharing site as strategic add on business.
Metis Partners intellectual property brokers announced today that BlipFoto (www.polaroidblipfoto.com) the Edinburgh, Scotland based social media photo sharing website will be acquired by the end of the week. The website has reached over 2.4 million unique visitors per year and hosts more than five million images.
Metis Partners was instructed by Tom MacLennan of FRP Advisory LLP, provisional liquidator of Blipfoto Ltd., to handle the sale of the technological expertise and intellectual property behind Edinburgh-based Blipfoto earlier this month. Metis Partners are brokering the deal in which Blipfoto, which has generated a worldwide community of users called “Blippers”, will continue with business as usual and the treasured photo journals of these users will be maintained as part of the asset sale. The news has brought an outpouring of warmth and support for the website from users, and many have posted comments about how much the community means to them and how desperate they are for it to continue.
Nat Baldwin, of Metis Partners, who negotiated the deal for Blipfoto, said: “Blipfoto has benefited from remarkable brand affection. The preferred bidder views Blipfoto as a strategic opportunity and has expressed excitement about the prospects for growing the business and nurturing existing users. Metis Partners are delighted that the deal will enable Blipfoto to continue to expand in new ways.”
A group of investors behind several of the Polaroid brand properties including Jeffrey B. Hecktman – CEO of Hilco Global and Bobby Sager Partner and a Director at Gordon Brothers – have been named as the preferred bidder for the assets and the sale is expected to complete by the end of the week.
Mr. Hecktman – the investor, CEO and Chairman of Hilco Global said “The Blipfoto brand has created a genuine global community with users in over 175 countries who share the most important moments of their lives on a daily basis. By leveraging this type of powerful social media tool with the direction and great success we are having with the Polaroid brand as a whole and our new retail concept called Polaroid Fotobar, we believe this is as a fantastic addition to our current growth platform.”
Blipfoto was founded by Joe Tree 10 years ago and incorporated in 2007. In January of 2015 Blipfoto entered a partnership with Polaroid and the website was renamed and launched as Polaroid Blipfoto.
Scott W. Hardy – President and CEO of Polaroid indicated his support for the acquisition and his enthusiasm for a strong and continued brand strategic partnership. Hardy said, “We continue to see tremendous value in Polaroid Blipfoto from both a business and a human perspective.This was true in January when we announced our partnership, and continues to be true today. The heartfelt expressions of support and affinity for Polaroid Blipfoto from members of the community this past week are as clear an indication as you can get of just how much this service means to the people who use it. We are delighted to have reached an agreement that will enable us to keep this vibrant and important community alive and well for current and future users.”
Originally, Mr.Tree set himself the challenge of taking one picture of his day every single day and posting it online. Now thousands of users document their lives in online journals and even meet up in the real world. Users tend to be extremely loyal and passionate, Tree has said, “They want to create something that they can hand over to their kids”.
The company has received major funding from both individuals and enterprise agencies and has had major positive press coverage including Time, Forbes and the Guardian. Its images are downloaded each day by the British library because of their unique historical significance in tracking the lives of many individuals.
Metis Partners has successfully sold the IP behind WeeWorld.com, the Scottish-based social network which promoted Alicia Keys, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake and the Pussycat Dolls, also under instruction from Tom MacLennan and Iain Fraser of FRP Advisory LLP, joint liquidators of WeeWorld Ltd.
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