Unsplash spins out from Crew Labs

Ted Liu

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Unsplash, the operator of free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos site, today announced the separation from parent company Crews Labs. The split became official before Christmas.

Crews Labs has previously raised US $8.5 million in Series A from Accomplice and Real Ventures. Unsplash will be owned by Crew Labs which in turn is controlled by principal shareholders, founder Mikael Cho, Accomplice, and Real Ventures. Cho, the largest shareholder of Crew Labs, will be running Unsplash full-time. Cho, John Stokes of Real Ventures, and Ryan Moore of Accomplice continue to be directors of both companies.

From Cho’s announcement today:
Unsplash was made shortly after Crew as a way to help Crew grow. And it did just that. Unsplash referred more customers to Crew than any other source. It helped us survive when we were months from going out of business. Without Unsplash, there likely would be no Crew.

Since then, Crew grew into a multi-million dollar business supporting companies and creators across 30 countries. And Unsplash has come into its own along with it.
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We spent the last six months doing a deep assessment into both Crew and Unsplash. We still have ~$5 million of the $8.5 million investment we raised two years ago in the bank. And Crew can operate at a rate that’s close to profitable. We could wait on this decision. But, we realized if we continued to operate Unsplash and Crew together as we have, we risk giving neither the focus they deserve.

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My teammates Martine, Steph, Tim, and I are moving to Unsplash full-time. My co-founder Angus will continue on Crew and Michael Sacca, our current Head of Partnerships at Crew, will step into the role of Crew President.

The investment money for Crew will also be split between Crew and Unsplash. Separate budgets for both.