Photo-collating service provider Waldo Photos has raised $5 million in a seed funding round led by VC firm Upfront Ventures.
The Waldo platform offers an interesting premise, offering to collect all photos that are taken of a user and deliver them to that user, even if they are taken by others. Currently in a closed beta trial, the platform uses technology combining facial recognition, GPS tracking, and meta data matching.
The idea is to empower users to forget about taking selfies all the time; as Waldo cofounder Rodney Rice explains, it was developed so that “users can toss their selfie sticks, keep their phones in their pockets and just live in the moment.” It could also open up a new kind of revenue stream to professional photographers, allowing them to “market and sell their photos more efficiently than ever before”, Rise added.
Given its use of facial recognition technology, the Waldo platform arrives at a pivotal time. This kind of biometric identification technology is spreading across a range of sectors and applications, and in some areas has run up against privacy issues. Photo sharing service Shutterfly is facing a legal battle over its collection of facial biometrics data, and Facebook has been dealing with similar legal action. Still, a federal judge recently sided with the latter in one of its major biometrics court cases, indicating that Waldo could evade such trouble if it takes the right approach to privacy—indeed, it could even catch on the way selfie sticks have.