HP, Apple Invest In Online Photo Processor - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


HP, Apple Invest In Online Photo Processor

While the rest of the world seemingly is running, not walking, from Internet investments, have Hewlett-Packard and Apple Computer found a diamond in the rough? Both companies are among the investors in a $41 million round of financing for online photo processor Ofoto Inc.

Ofoto CEO James Joaquin says he was able to distance his company from the dot-com doldrums by focusing on a growth track that has seen revenue for the last two quarters of 2000 double from 1999 levels. Joaquin says Ofoto has a healthy consumer business in addition to commercial arrangements with companies such as HP, Sony, Amazon.com, [email protected], and the two largest online providers of commercial photos, Corbis and Getty Images. "We have great prospects for providing a return on investment," Joaquin says.

Apple execs declined to comment on the company's investment, but Srinivas Sukumar, HP's general manager of digital imaging E-services, says HP, which makes high-quality printing equipment, took a strategic view of Ofoto's combination of digital and traditional photo printing services. It also didn't hurt that Ofoto possesses a unique quality among dot-coms: It's producing a tangible product, and it says it's actually making money doing so. Still, Sukumar admits that had the investment, which was agreed to a few months ago, been considered today, he's not certain HP would still commit the funds. "The overall investment climate has changed," he says.

Keenan Vision analyst Vernon Keenan says that despite the struggles in the Internet arena, the investments by both HP and Apple make perfect sense. Not only are both companies committed to making imaging tools a key part of their product lines, but Keenan says the sluggish market probably increased the stake they could obtain with their investment dollars. The fact that the Barksdale Group and Benchmark Capital are financially behind Ofoto no doubt lent an air of credibility as well. Keenan was particularly intrigued by Apple's investment: "It may herald the introduction of an Apple-branded camera."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Reflections on Tech in 2019
James M. Connolly, Editorial Director, InformationWeek and Network Computing,  12/9/2019
What Digital Transformation Is (And Isn't)
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/4/2019
Watch Out for New Barriers to Faster Software Development
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  12/3/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll