Have you ever wondered why photos on Airbnb, UberEats and your favorite hotel platform always look so good? French startup Meero has been working on a marketplace and AI-powered technology to make it easy to get good photos of products and places.
The company has raised a new $45 million round led by Alven Capital and Idinvest. Eight months ago, Meero already raised $15 million from Global Founders Capital, Aglaé Ventures, Alven Capital and White Star Capital.
“We focused on this idea because we wanted to make the web beautiful,” co-founder and CEO Thomas Rebaud told me last year. “We realized that we are all on Instagram and that photos are beautiful. But then, you go on a marketplace and photos aren’t great.”
The company first looked at the real estate market and partnered with real estate companies to optimize the photography process as much as possible.
It starts with finding a photographer – of which I am now one. Instead of working with hundreds of photographers in hundreds of cities, Meero lets you find a photographer in over a hundred countries. Prices, contracts and processes are all standardized in order to avoid any surprise. Meero takes a cut on every transaction.
After the shooting, photographers usually have to spend hours selecting and editing the best photos. This usually takes even longer than the shooting itself.
Meero has been working on AI-powered algorithms so that you don’t have much to do. You upload your photos, and the service will automagically take care of the editing. By speeding up this process, a photographer can work on more projects. And Meero can also cut variable costs drastically — this is key when it comes to Meero’s scalability.
With today’s funding round, the startup is going to open new offices in the U.S. and somewhere in Asia. Meero will also hire more computer vision experts in France.
Meero currently has 40,000 clients and processes a new transaction every 30 seconds. Clients usually get photos within 24 hours.