Wirestock, an AI start-up which has received backing from the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) Innovation Hub, has struck a partnership with stock photo giant Getty Images and its sister site iStock.

The company claims to be the only platform which provides content creators the function to automate all the anual steps involved in selling content online. These include keywording, captioning, and categorising, all of which are handled by the paltforms artificial intelligence (AI).

Founded in 2019, the company has raised €3.3 million so far, including through a €2.3 million funding round earlier this year.

It found early support from the MITA Innovation Hub’s (MIH) YouStartIT Accelerator, a now-defunct programme that ran from 2016 to 2020 and focused on high-tech solutions. The 2019 round, which Wirestock formed part of, had a particular focus on blockchain and AI.

“They had a good idea at the time, based on blockchain,” says Alex Borg, the founder and manager of MIH, in comments to BusinessNow.mt. “It was a real blockchain use case to aggregate and store photos and videos from photographers and videographers. We immediately liked the project.”

Mr Borg, who now runs GBU Ventures and provides consultation services to start-ups, SMEs and investors

angel investors and venture capital, describes Wirestock CEO Mikayel Khachatryan as a “great entrepreneur” supported by a talented, driven team of developers. “They were very dogged,” he says. “They came with a vision and were determined to realise it.”

The company currently has 40 employees, and promises to build more features including further automation, more monetisation channels, and functions like NFT sales.

The deal with Getty Images will broaden the distribution potential for Wirestock’s contributors, numbering roughly 100,000, who already benefit from partnerships with Adobe Stock, Alamy, Freepik and others.

Mr Khachatryan, speaking to TechCrunch, said: “For the longest time, we’ve been getting requests from creators who wanted to sell their content on Getty Images and iStock. We’re beyond excited for this partnership. It’ll help generate more income for content creators, which will, in turn, lead to more amazing photos and videos uploaded and distributed through our platform.”

Wirestock also provides creators an instant shop where they can license their images directly, and a distribution platform allowing them access to the various other companies it has partnered with.

Apart from photography, Wirestock also supports video footage and vector art distribution.

Featured Image:

Wirestock / D. Aparicio

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