ImageQuix announces acquisition of Fotomerchant

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ImageQuix, a leading provider of software solutions for professional photographers, announced the acquisition of Fotomerchant, one of the most respected end-to-end workflow solutions for high-volume studios. Terms weren’t disclosed. 

ImageQuix provides end-to-end workflow management and ecommerce solutions to professional photographers, under a portfolio that includes ImageQuix, PhotoLynx, Studio Ninja, and Capturelife tools. Fotomerchant is a workflow solution for high-volume studios, employing AI-driven tools to eliminate busywork, simplify complex processes, and minimize human error.

The acquisition follows the investment by Charlesbank Technology Opportunities Fund, a fund managed by Charlesbank Capital Partners, into ImageQuix. At the time of the announcement, Charlesbank said the funding would assist ImageQuix in accelerating the expansion of its business both organically and through M-and-A. ASG invested in ImageQuix in 2018, beginning a four-year trend of acquisitions and growth, which included the acquisition of PhotoLynx (acquired in 2019) and Capturelife (acquired in 2021).

According to the press release: “The strategic acquisition of Fotomerchant into ImageQuix’s growing portfolio of solutions-focused businesses unites the strengths of both companies and will allow both teams to work closely together on better solutions for all customers. 

“To ensure a seamless experience for clients of both companies, Fotomerchant and ImageQuix will continue to operate without any disruption to the exceptional service levels and high-quality experience clients have come to expect, providing uninterrupted support and ongoing feature development for all current products, projects, and partnerships.

“In parallel both teams will begin collaboration on the long-term goal of creating a unified, best-in-class solution for all studios. Integrating the skills and experience of both the ImageQuix and Fotomerchant teams, the unified offering will harness the market-leading features of Blueprint and Fotomerchant, leveraging the latest technological advancements.”

The announcement declared the key benefits of the combination were:

  • Enhanced Capabilities: Studios will have access to an expanded set of tools and services to empower them to thrive in a competitive and ever-changing market.
  • Collaborative Innovation: By working together, both companies will drive continuous innovation, ensuring that customers receive the best solutions to meet their evolving needs.
Alex Kovacevic

“We are thrilled to embark on this journey with Fotomerchant, having watched them go from strength to strength over the last few years” said Alex Kovacevic, CEO of ImageQuix. “Our commitment to serving and enriching our customers remains stronger than ever, and this acquisition allows us to pool our resources and expertise to deliver even more value to them in both the short term and long into the future.”

We’ve had a very healthy competition with ImageQuix for many years but spent much of this time developing against each other,” said Elmar Platzer, CEO and co-founder, Fotomerchant. “This partnership removes unnecessary barriers and duplication and allows us to focus more energy on helping our customers grow and deliver continued innovation that benefits everyone.”

The Dead Pixels Society had the opportunity to submit questions before the public announcement in Q-and-A format.

What are the areas of overlap between the companies’ two offerings?

“There is inherently a good amount of overlap between us, like e-commerce, but there are also unique strengths that we each offer, like ImageQuix’s custom marketing and Fotomerchant’s in-built automation,” said Kovacevic. “That’s a huge part of what makes this such an exciting opportunity to bring our teams and technologies together. As we take a deep dive into each offering over the coming months, we’ll be better able to identify specific areas of alignment and improvement opportunities to incorporate into each offering.”

How are these areas of overlap going to be resolved?

“Short-term, we plan to continue to deliver our respective solutions as they are,” said Platzker. “In parallel, I’ll work closely with Christopher Marks [VP of Product at ImageQuix] to map out a detailed roadmap for how we plan to bring the best of both offerings to our entire customer base.”

How will customer feedback be used to determine what is kept?

“Customer input has always been a key factor in developing both the ImageQuix and Fotomerchant platforms, and that’s not going to change,” said Kovacevic. “Our customers have been and will continue to be the cornerstone of our success, and without their feedback and ideas, we wouldn’t be in the position we’re in today.”

“Echoing Alex’s statement, at the root of this acquisition is our mutual desire to deliver best-in-class products and services for our customers, and the only way we can truly do that is to continue to facilitate a two-way dialogue,” said Platzer. “And that can include product roadmap discussions, ongoing check-ins to understand what’s working (or not), customer feedback surveys, etc.”

Elmar Platzker and Derek Clapham

How long will the integration process take?

“At this stage, it’s too early to put a definitive date on things as there are many moving parts, but what we can say is that 2024 will be full of updates we can’t wait to share with everyone,” said Kovacevic.

“It’s important that any integration is done right,” said Derek Clapham, CTO and co-founder. “Our goal is to provide a world-class product. To do this, quality is more important than quantity. I’m looking forward to working with the combined product and engineering teams as we determine the most impactful path forward.”

What will the management structure look like?

I’m delighted to have Elmar joining my team as VP of Strategy,” said Kovacevic. “Derek will continue to channel his immense technological talents as VP of Engineering within our R-and-D department.”

Both companies have prominent personalities in the volume photography space. Is there room for everyone in the combined company?

“Who, us? Big personalities? I don’t know what you mean [laughs],” said Tim McCain, President, ImageQuix. “Yes, of course. We have nothing but respect for each other, and a key component to bringing our teams together is to leverage each other’s strengths and expertise to the betterment of our entire industry.”

What changes are expected among the customer service staff, etc?

Tim McCain

“Our current plan is to maintain the same level of exceptional service clients of both companies expect and deserve without any changes on Day 1,” said McCain. “You can continue to access the same platforms, services, and support teams as before.”

When will customers start seeing changes?

“The first change customers will see will be at SPAC next month as we celebrate our teams coming together,” said Platzer. “You’ll see familiar faces from both sides as colleagues intermingling rather than competitors.”

“From a practical standpoint, as the teams get to know each other and the product offering, we’ll know more about timing,” said Clapham. “As Alex said earlier, I’m sure as 2024 progresses there’ll be a lot more information coming.” 

How long will the merger take?

“While the acquisition is official as of Dec. 21, the integration of our teams and products will take months as we all work to ensure a smooth transition, and of course, the priority is always the success of our customers,” said Kovacevic.