Photo-Stickers And Funny Monsters: Here Are The Most Questionable Startups To Raise Millions This Past Week


I’m not a VC, but I do blog about intriguing funding rounds from time to time. Perhaps given this limited expertise, I’m a tad mystified by the glut of derivative, scam-like or downright absurd startup ideas that load up on VC debt.

I originally wanted to call these the “stupidest” fundings of the week, but then I realized that I’d look stupid if/when one of these companies blows up into an empire, so I decided for “questionable.” Nothing wrong with bein’ kinda questionable, right?

Ladies and gentleman, here are the most questionable fundings of the week:

Cluster Receives $1.6 million For Photo-Sharing (from TechCrunch): You guys, don’t tell Instagram, but they totally haven’t cracked the “nut” of photo-sharing. Cluster, on the other hand, is going to completely revolutionize the industry by letting you hide unflattering photos in group albums, save high-resolution versions of shared photos, and send custom invitations to friends.

Among the myriad (like, literally infinite) competitors in this space, we’ve got 500px, which raised $8.8 million earlier this month, and Yahoo’s Flickr, which launched a high-profile site redesign earlier this summer.

The only redeeming quality of this funding, in my mind, was the high-profile investors: the round was led by Steve Andersen at Baseline Ventures, who was an early investor in Instagram, with participation from Google Ventures and First Round Capital.

PicCollage Raises $2.3 Million For Stickers And Photo Collages (from TechCrunch): Another picture-site…only for remixes! PicCollage lets users take pictures they’ve already shared on social platforms, and re-design them with stickers, crops, glitter…uhhh, macaroni noodles…


TechCrunch’s creation on PicCollage…this is at least worth a few hundred thousand, right?

PicCollage actually charges for sticker packs — typically between $0.99 and $1.99 — and recently partnered with Interscope Records to release stickers based on Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ music video.

ChoreMonster Raises $1.5 Million To Make Chores “Fun” (from VentureBeat): Basically an online version of old-school chore charts: kids collect digital “monsters” for doing chores. Because to this day, the only thing that motivates me to do the dishes is little pictures of monsters.