The Jakarta Post
An artificial intelligence-driven photography service company, SweetEscape, has raised US$6 million through a round of Series A funding in an early investment move that falls in line with its plan to double the size of its team this year.
SweetEscape is a fresh player in the travel and photography industry. Serving digitally, it allows customers to book a photo session through the tap of a finger on its app and download edited photos through the same platform within two days after the shoot.
Public relations manager Natasha Jessica told The Jakarta Post on Thursday that the company had offices in Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore, with a total 103 employees working in them, and by doubling the team size this year, it hoped for a stronger presence across Southeast Asia.
“The three countries are our current biggest markets. Even though the transactions are done digitally, the presence of offices in other countries is significant given the sales and marketing teams can help observe the markets more thoroughly,” she said.
She said that in addition to recruiting more team members, the company had allocated funds obtained this year for its plans to open a new office in Thailand later this year and to upgrade its processing technology to accelerate the post-production process.
Since it was founded in Jakarta in 2017, she said, SweetEscape had offered photoshoots for various occasions in over 500 cities in 100 countries across the globe for both individuals and business consumers.
Last year, SweetEscape managed to get seed funding worth $1 million to invest in technology development, the expansion of the market office to the Philippines and the extension of the team to 80 people, she said.
“The company has partnered with about 10,000 individual photographers. They are the partnering countries’ experienced local people who have been selected by their very own CEO and founder David Soong,” she added.
Previously, David said the company’s ultimate goal was to be the first Southeast Asian photography company that used AI imaging technology to transform an $80 billion industry.
Chief operating officer and cofounder Emile Etienne said he was optimistic about the company’s growth since it had serviced not only travel but also birthday, baby shower, graduation and family photoshoots.
In addition, SweetEscape also has a growing portfolio of regional and global client services in the business industry, including at WeWork, P&G and HSBC, providing them with food, real estate and profile photography services. (syk)