Shutterfly photo-sharing site plans IPO

The online photo-sharing Web site Shutterfly plans to raise funds through an IPO of company stock.

The online photo-sharing Web site Shutterfly announced Thursday that it plans to raise funds through an initial public offering (IPO) of company stock.

Shutterfly, of California, will offer its stock on Nasdaq under the symbol SFLY. It has not set a date for the offering.

Shutterfly faces increasing competition for customer loyalty. The news comes as competing Web-based photo-sharing sites jostle for position in an increasingly crowded market.

New companies like Tabblo and Photobucket use Web 2.0 functionality to allow users to do more than post photos, such as editing pictures, arranging them on virtual photo album pages, and linking them to other sites.

Earlier this month, Yahoo Inc. joined those sites by announcing it would retool its Yahoo Photos site, allowing customers to use it like a desktop PC application, dragging-and-dropping photos, tagging them with labels and filing them in virtual albums.

Other sites have gained leverage by finding large corporate parents. In 2005, Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) bought the photo-sharing sites Snapfish and Pixaco, and Yahoo purchased Flickr. In 2004, Google acquired photo organization technology developer Picasa, and in 2001, Eastman Kodak Co. bought Ofoto.

Shutterfly has built a strong brand name and is located in the fast-growing market of consumer photo printing, but it will face competitive challenges, analysts said.

"It could be a tough time to go public because now everyone is in the midst of a price war on the cost of basic printing, so that is dragging margins down," said Stephen Baker, director of industry analysis for NPD Techworld.

Still, not all photo-sharing sites are in direct competition, he said. Google is not a competitor to Shutterfly because it doesn't allow printing; people use Flickr to share photos and Picasa to organize them.

"I can't go to Flickr and get my photos printed on a mug, calendar or photo album," Baker said. "But they will compete with store kiosks in Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Costco ... those are not gnats, they are giants of industry."

Finally, Shutterfly will have to compete with people's ability to print at home, as hardware vendors like HP build color printers for consumers.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ben Ames

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?