Tobias Peggs is joining Aviary, the photo editing app, as its new chief executive, the company announced. Aviary’s backers include a group of angels and Spark Capital.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER
I’m excited to announce that Tobias Peggs has joined the Aviary flock as our new CEO!
Aviary is taking off in ways I never dreamed possible when we adjusted our strategy and launched our photo-editing SDK 15 months ago. We now have more than 25 million monthly active users of Aviary’s products, making their photos look amazing across our distribution network of 2,500 partners. We have an incredible portfolio of partners including large corporations like Yahoo!, Walgreens, Box and Twitter and many successful indie companies like imgur, PicStitch and Juicy Bits. One year after launching, in September 2012, we celebrated editing our 1 billionth photo. Just a few months later, we’re now celebrating passing 2 billion edits. It’s been a great year. But we’re just getting started…
As we move forward, it has become clear to me that the company’s accelerating growth is now bringing us into territory that is best handled by someone with a very specific set of skills and experiences tailored to match our B2B strategy. Tobias has deep experience managing accelerated growth in B2B startups, which makes him the perfect leader for Aviary as it really takes off.
Most recently, Tobias was CEO at OneRiot, managing that company’s transition from consumer to B2B, overseeing its growth and subsequent acquisition by Walmart. There are many specific elements in his background that are highly relevant to Aviary’s business:
At OneRiot, he drove fast growth in the business through the distribution of SDKs and business models to a large community of developers.
At Walmart, he was responsible for mobile products in international markets, growing the UK market from zero to 50% of typical weekly global mobile revenue inside 12 months.
He has built and managed large teams across the globe, having previously worked in the US, Europe and Asia.
But beyond his understanding of our developer-focused business, also importantly, he understands what we are doing emotionally. As a former Managing Editor of i-D Magazine, he has a deep appreciation for photography and creativity, which is critical to our culture and mindset at Aviary.
Tobias has been a mentor of mine for almost a year now. Shortly after Aviary changed its business strategy to focus on powering third party apps, one of our investors, Mo Koyfman from Spark Capital, introduced me to Tobias. He had a wealth of leadership knowledge that really impressed me and helped me think through our approach to the business as we grew our partnership base. I am certain that those conversations helped steer Aviary towards its current level of success.
Going forward, I will be Aviary’s Chief Product Officer, focusing on continuing to make Aviary’s product offering the most innovative and pure solution on the market. And in my continued role as Chairman, I’ll make sure the company course stays true on the path towards democratizing creativity.
I’m excited to get the opportunity to work even more closely with a mentor. It represents the opportunity to turn Aviary from a startup with incredible potential into a significant, growing business under Tobias’ leadership.
So I’d like to officially welcome Tobias to the flock. We’ll fly to great places together, as birds of a feather tend to do.
I JOINED AVIARY TODAY AS THE COMPANY’S CEO
I joined Aviary today as the company’s CEO, and I couldn’t be more excited. Here’s why:
Aviary has built the best SDK for photo editing, sharing and monetization. More than 2,500 developers already use that SDK in apps across mobile, tablet and web. In November, Aviary saw 25m unique end users across that developer network. On Thanksgiving Day alone, Aviary’s technology helped edit and share more than 15m photos. Meanwhile the company has just topped 2bn total photos edited (up from 1bn as reported in September).
Those are big numbers, showing significant growth, and indicating real traction. Partners like Flickr, MailChimp and Walgreens agree, having integrated Aviary into their offerings. Last week, Twitter joined that roll call. Likewise, Aviary is the go-to photo platform partner for many and varied indie devs, including Muzy, Palringo and Recipe Search.
When you get to know the company, it’s easy to see how they got to this position. A) the team that’s been put together to date is awesome and B) the core product rocks. If you’re a developer, and you’re thinking “photos”, you’re likely thinking “Aviary”.
For about a year, I’ve been talking with Aviary’s co-founders Avi and Iz about the B2B direction they’ve been taking their company. We’ve always clicked as people, and I love their big vision of democratizing creativity. Likewise we’ve talked for days about the business potential, especially in the context of a mobile photo space that already seems huge but is really only just getting started.
Last month, they asked me to join the company. Through our conversations, it became apparent that some of the experiences I’ve been through and the lessons I’ve learned in my career – especially when CEO of OneRiot – would complement Avi and Iz’s strengths as they sought to scale their business and better serve their developer community.
One of the hardest decisions startup founders can ever make is to bring in an outside CEO. The fact that Avi and Iz were so clear on why they wanted to do that now was very impressive and compelling. In addition, having Mo Koyfman from Spark Capital as Aviary’s lead investor was also a plus. Spark was the lead in OneRiot. They, like me, see the benefit in getting the band back together.
So here we are: Avi, Iz, me, a very talented flock at Aviary’s NYC HQ, and a board full of brain power, ready to help our developer community create and monetize the best photo apps possible for their users, while taking this company to the next level and beyond.
I’d encourage you now to install Aviary’s showcase apps on iOS and Android to see the core product in action, and to start using the service through one or many of Aviary’s partners. Also, keep an eye on the Aviary blog and follow Aviary on Twitter for more product, partner and feature announcements – there’s a lot of very cool stuff just around the corner. Meanwhile, we’re hiring!
As I said, I couldn’t be more excited. I feel very fortunate to be joining such a top team who’ve created a great product that is loved by so many developers and photo takers around the world. Now… it’s time to get to work.