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Highland backs NYC-based Pixable, photo printing service started by MIT alums

Posted by Scott Kirsner  June 28, 2010 08:34 AM

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Manhattan-based Pixable closed on its first round of funding from Highland Capital Partners of Lexington earlier this month. A recent SEC filing puts the round at $2.1 million.

Pixable makes it easy to print photo books and calendars using images that are stored on Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, and other popular photo-hosting services. Bob Davis, the former chief executive of Lycos, and now a general partner at Highland, will join Pixable’s board. Pixable is Highland's third investment in a New York start-up since February. (Yesterday's Globe column was all about Boston VCs putting money into Manhattan start-ups.)

A team of MIT grads started the company last year, and were briefly squatting last summer in conference rooms at the school’s Sloan School of Management, but they moved to an office SoHo last summer. “We didn’t have a very strong preference between Boston and San Francisco and New York,” says Iñaki Berenguer, Pixable’s CEO. “But New York is famous for media, advertising, and events, and you could say we’re a media company, and that photos are mainly about events.” He adds that New York is “a good place to mix long working days with having fun on the weekends.” The company has ten full-time employees, and a dozen interns.

Pixable plans to enhance its site with other features related to aggregating and organizing photos from various photo-hosting sites, but Berenguer wasn't ready to be more specific.

Berenguer tells me that several sites, like Shutterfly, Kodak Gallery, and Snapfish, don't have APIs allowing services like Pixable to work with their photos. But he says that each of those sites host about a billion photos each. That sounds like a lot — until you learn that Facebook hosts about 50 billion photos, and is adding about 4 billion more every month. "Flickr has about five billion, so you could say that every month, a new Flickr is built on Facebook," Berenguer says.

Here's a company-produced video that offers an introduction to Pixable's service:

Pixable from Pixable on Vimeo.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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