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Toronto’s 500px Ready to Scale with $8.8 Million Investment

Toronto-based 500px, which began as a hobby for Oleg Gutsol and co-founder Evgeny Tchebotarev, will now take space in San Francisco’s Bay area.

Toronto’s 500px, an online photo sharing service with an emphasis on quality photography, has just announced the closure of an $8.8 million round of Series A fundraising, led by Andreessen Horowitz and Harrison Metal.

Other investors in the mix include Creative Artists Agency, Rugged Ventures, Dustin Plett and ff Venture Capital.

With a user base of more than 2.5 million and more than 1 billion page views per month, 500px is set to use the new investment to open an office in the San Francisco Bay area and go on a hiring spree. This news is right on the heels of a partnership with Microsoft search engine Bing, which has partnered with 500px to feature its members’ photos on their home page.

“Having investors like Andreessen Horowitz and Harrison Metal support our vision speaks volumes to the potential we have to achieve our goals,” says Oleg Gutsol, co-founder and CEO. “This new round of funding gives us access to the world’s best strategic advisors and provides the resources we need to speed up our innovation pipeline and focus on rapid international growth.”

The site began as a hobby for Gutsol and co-founder Evgeny Tchebotarev, the name a reflection of their early requirement that photos had to be at minimum 500 pixels wide.

Since its start as a bootstrapped business in 2009, Gutsol and Tchebotarev have cultivated a passionate community of users who take their image making a little more seriously than the glut of cat and food pictures currently slowing down the internet.

Gutsol projects revenue to double or triple in 2013, following the unveiling of its tiered premium subscription service in May. John Frankel, partner with ff Venture Capital, already sits on the 500px board, and Michael Dearing, founder of Harrison Metal, will be joining following this investment.

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