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PastBook secures new investment round and launches collaborative photo-book platform

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After one year from its seed-investment, PastBook has received a new undisclosed amount of funding from a group of investors as a bridge round to Series A. The new investment will boost the development and distribution of the new product that the Company launched today: a collaborative photo-book platform the lets people collaborate to put photos together in creating keepsake book, in just a few seconds, from any device. PastBook is also opening up its technology to businesses, with white-label solutions (i.e. for weddings or funeral companies) and RESTful API integration (i.e. offering to 3rd party apps a new revenue stream with photo-book book print on demand).

‘I started PastBook to solve my own problem of relieving my own memories from the social networks I use, but then I realized that it was not enough. The new investment, the feedbacks received from the first beta users and the validation we found in approaching the first partners, make me proud of what we have achieved so far on this roller-coaster journey.’
— Stefano Cutello, PastBook CEO

 

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The investment comes as a follow-up round from two private angel investors, who had already participated in the seed-round in September 2012, and by a private Dutch fund that lead this round. This will bring the company to round A, onto what the company is already working on.

At the beginning of June 2013, the company has seen Stefano Cutello become the sole founder when Giuseppe Prioriello, former COO, left it in an amicable way for personal reasons. During this time Stefano dealt with a possible acquisition from a US printing company, but ended up turning them down to continue focusing on the product and execution following his own vision, that is way broader than just printing.

For PastBook, who graduated from RockStart.Accelerator just last year, the new investment has secured the future development of its mission on its own, to help people relive memories. It will aid the Company in boosting the growth and distribution of the new product it is launching today: a collaborative photo-book platform that lets people collaborate to put photos together and create keepsake books, in just few seconds, from any device.

After addressing the initial problem of the fragmentation of memories between social-networks, with the claim of “Turning memories into the perfect gift” (http://hub.pastbook.com), the collaborative solution (http://collab.pastbook.com) will now focus on the fragmentation of memories between people to “Create wonderful books, together with your friends”.

Online user habits indicates that there is a genuine motivation and movement towards shared experiences; group chat and crowdsourcing online are just some examples that our virtual experiences needn’t be spent alone. The digital world has become a second chance for experiencing our lives together, and PastBook’s mission is perfectly matching this proposition.
The flow is very simple and straightforward. Create a story, and invite by email or social networks relatives and friends to participate: you’ll be all able to add text and photos by direct upload or importing them from any social networks. The result is a unique story to keep on-line or to bring off-line as a PDF or as a printed book.

The service is available for everyone on the web starting today at http://collab.pastbook.com and, thanks to its fully responsive design, it will be available immediately on mobile and tablets. Native iOS and Android apps are coming soon.

It is ideal for a group of friends and family members to explore the new group-gifting scene, allowing people to share experiences and pitch into buying one gift for a close one.

The first beta users used it in occasions of holidays, parties, team events or weddings where, for example, all the guests at the ceremony had contributed with pictures and quotes about the couple, so that they can have a keepsake photo-book of their love-story.

Another great use-case the company noticed is the “In Memoriam” book, where relatives and friends contributed with their own moments to celebrate the memory of somebody they loved who had passed away. A story like that will last forever.

With this new platform, PastBook is also opening up its technology to businesses with two models: white-label solutions for publishers, weddings and funeral companies – that will be able to provide the service under their own brand and domain without any IT resource needed – and RESTful API integrations, providing to third parties apps the possibility to create and print photo-books on demand for their users, offering so a new revenue stream for their business model.

A number of preselected Dutch and International partners are already lined up for their white label solutions. If interested, companies can have more information contacting partners@pastbook.com

By Joanne Carter

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said.
Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London.
Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art.
Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK.
She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: joanne@theappwhisperer.com

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