"From both a financial and strategic perspective, we're thrilled to have Steamboat Ventures as a new investor in PhotoTLC," said PhotoTLC CEO Ed Bernstein. "Steamboat brings not only its sophisticated investment perspective, but also access to business relationships within the Disney organization that will help drive PhotoTLC's continued growth."
"We're also delighted to welcome the investment from the Bay Area Equity Fund, whose charter includes both helping companies to grow financially and to create jobs and advancement opportunities for area residents," Bernstein said.
As the venture capital arm of the Walt Disney Company, Steamboat Ventures helps build relationships between the companies it invests in and Disney, ESPN and ABC, and provides access to a broad network of industry leaders.
Working with many of America's largest retailers, PhotoTLC offers a full range of personalized photo gifts and digital photo restorations at more than 15,000 retail locations across the U.S., including Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid, Meijer and Albertsons.
This holiday season, the company is filling thousands of orders every day for its distinctive line of photo restorations and photo gifts, including photo books, personalized calendars and knitted photo blankets, commemorative plates and photo crystals.
"PhotoTLC has rapidly emerged as the leading retail supplier of personalized photo gifts and photo restoration services. Their focus on serving the retail channel coupled with state of the art logistics and manufacturing are transforming this industry segment and delivering a significantly higher quality service," said Shanda Bahles, General Partner at El Dorado Ventures. "PhotoTLC's strong talent, leadership and innovative market solutions are consolidating this highly fragmented industry and delivering exciting growth."
In other news, PhotoTLC has acquired Club Photo, its largest outsource supplier of photo gifts. "The acquisition of Club Photo expands PhotoTLC's manufacturing capacity, including both photo prints and gifts, and provides us with a distribution facility centrally located in Austin, Texas. In addition, the acquisition gives us access to Club's web-based technical capabilities and expertise," noted Bernstein. "This web expertise will be a strong asset to our retail partners. Whether retail customers want to order their photo gifts online or in a store, have them shipped directly or available for store pickup, PhotoTLC can meet their needs."
About Steamboat Ventures
Steamboat Ventures (Burbank, CA) is the venture capital arm of The Walt Disney Company and invests in early-to mid-stage technology-focused companies that are pursuing opportunities in emerging media and entertainment markets. Other portfolio companies backed by Steamboat Ventures include Iridigm Display Corp., Fastclick, EMN8, Quigo and BitPass. For more information, visit www.steamboatvc.com.
About El Dorado Ventures
El Dorado Ventures (EDV) is a leading entrepreneur-focused, early-stage venture capital firm with a 19-year history of success. Entrepreneurs see EDV as a trusted investment partner who shares their vision and helps them succeed by providing ongoing strategic guidance and access to a wealth of industry contacts. With $750 million in capital under management, the firm invests across the information technology spectrum, from semiconductors and systems to communications, software and services, targeting both consumers and the enterprise. El Dorado's early-stage investments have included Cyras Systems, EarthLink, Efficient Networks, Novellus and NuSpeed Internet Systems. Numerous EDV portfolio companies have gone public or been acquired by major technology companies including Ciena, Cisco Systems, nVidia, Siemens, Texas Instruments and Yahoo/Inktomi. For more information, please visit www.eldorado.com.
About the Bay Area Equity Fund
The Bay Area Equity Fund, managed by JPMorgan, is a double-bottom line fund whose goal is to deliver market-rate venture capital returns to investors while generating significant social returns to the communities around its portfolio companies. The fund invests in the economic strengths of the Bay Area, focusing on growth companies in the technology, healthcare and consumer goods and services sectors. The fund makes investments primarily in private, mid-to-late stage companies located in or near low-to-moderate income neighborhoods of the 10-county Bay Area. For more information, visit www.bayareaequityfund.com.
PhotoTLC, Inc. is the leading provider of personalized photo gifts and digital photo restorations to America's largest retailers. PhotoTLC provides its products in partnership with over 15,000 brick-and-mortar retail locations, as well as online merchants. For more information, visit www.phototlc.com.