This morning we covered the news that Toronto photo-sharing startup 500px has raised a $525K Series A round. Comparisons to Flickr has gotten both photographers and investors excited about 500px but we think we've already found Toronto's next up-and-coming photo startup - Piccsy.
If you haven't heard of Piccsy yet, you likely will soon. The startup is an invite-only image discovery/sharing community site that currently sees over two million visitors per month.
How does that compare to 500px?
Last month 500px slotted in the #3 spot on the Techvibes Toronto Startup Index. Based on today's Alexa.com numbers Piccsy will premier in the #4 spot on the June Startup Index next week.
To date Piccsy has been under-the-radar but mostly because they have been below the equator. You see, Piccsy was the first Canadian company to take advantage of Start-Up Chile and spent 6 months in Santiago.
Start-Up Chile is a program that seeks to attract foreign, high-potential entrepreneurs to Chile to bootstrap their businesses with the end goal of converting Chile into an entrepreneurial hub. In 2010, the program brought 23 teams from around the world, providing them a $40,000 subsidy to participate for six months, and a temporary 1-year visa to develop their projects.
Piccsy founder Daniel Eckler wrote a blog post on Business Insider sharing his Chilean experience:
Piccsy arrived in Chile in late November as the Southern Hemisphere was transitioning from spring into summer, a welcome change as Toronto, our home, was just descending into four long months of winter. Within a week of our arrival, the Start-Up Chile team had arranged all of our necessary documents with the government, a bank account, and a furnished apartment: everything we needed to feel settled and get started working.
My morning ritual has taken a new twist in this part of the world, since checking the weather on my laptop reveals both the warm sunny day I am to encounter in Santiago, and the sub-zero city I left behind in Canada. Though in many ways Santiago is truly a world away from my home, I feel lucky to be a part of its emergence as a player on the global technology scene, watching it become connected to a world increasingly at its door.
Intrigued about Piccsy? They'll be re-launching this summer and are looking for a full-time engineer to lead the Piccsy team as they build out the product. The ideal candidate is an experienced developer/leader who is self-motivated, dedicated, entrepreneurial, multi-faceted, and interested in helping to shape the direction of a growing product and community over the next few years.
Intrigued about Chile? 2010 acted as a pilot phase and Start-Up Chile has a goal of supporting 300 high-potential entrepreneurs in 2011. The application process is open throughout the year with three intakes, so apply now.