Kodak Gallery sold to Shutterfly

By Andrew Hudson Published: April 27, 2012 Updated: January 31, 2017

By Andrew Hudson Published: April 27, 2012 Updated: January 31, 2017

In another sad Kodak Moment, the venerable Eastman Kodak Co. sold its online photo business to Shutterfly, Inc. for $23.8. No other bidders emerged in the bankruptcy auction. It’s a shame that Kodak didn’t invent Instagram.

Kodak Gallery reportedly never made a profit despite having over 75 million users. About two million customers are estimated to be still active which will be transferred to Shutterfly. The bid did not include the 150 Kodak Gallery employees or intellectual property such as the Gallery’s recent iPhone and Android apps.

“I’m excited to welcome Kodak Gallery’s customers to Shutterfly and look forward to working with the Kodak team to provide a smooth transition for their customers and offering them industry-leading products and customer service that will enhance the way they share and preserve everyday memories.”
Jeffrey Housenbold, Shutterfly’s president and chief executive officer

Kodak was founded in 1889 by George Eastman. Shutterfly was founded 110 years later in 1999. Coincidentally, Kodak Gallery officially launched on the very same day as Shutterfly, on December 13, 1999. Back then, it was known as Ofoto, an online photo sharing and printing service, and was the main rival to Shutterfly.

Recent Kodak Moments
Oct 1, 2011Kodak mulls bankruptcy
Jan 20, 2012Kodak goes bankrupt
Feb 9, 2012Kodak stops making cameras
Mar 2, 2012Shutterfly bids for Kodak Gallery

Founded in 1999, Shutterfly, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFLY) is an Internet-based social expression and personal publishing company and operates Shutterfly.com, TinyPrints.com, Weddingpaperdivas.com and Treat.com. Shutterfly provides high quality products and world class services that make it easy, convenient and fun for consumers to preserve their photos in a creative and thoughtful manner. Shutterfly’s flagship product is its award-winning photo book line, which helps consumers celebrate memories and tell their stories in professionally bound coffee table books.

History of Ofoto/Kodak Gallery

  • 1999: Ofoto started in Berkeley, CA by Lisa Gansky and Kamran Mohsenin.
  • 2001: Bought by Eastman Kodak.
  • 2005: Renamed Kodak EasyShare Gallery.
  • 2008: 60 million users (source).
  • 2012: 75 million users<-- www.pmda.com/2012/03/kodak-enters-into-agreement-for-proposed-sale-of-gallery-photo-services-site-to-shutterfly/-->

What now for Kodak?

“Kodak is focusing its consumer business on retail and destination photo solutions as well as home printing products.”
— Kodak, March 1, 2012.

Source: Dana Mattioli at The Wall Street Journal, April 25, 2012 via TheVerge. Also Shutterfly press release April 25, 2012.

Next page: Dropbox adds photos

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