HP to buy Indian founded Snapfish

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 23 March 2005, 08:00 Hrs
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SAN FRANCISCO: Hewlett Packard Co. plans to acquire online photo services startup Snapfish, founded by Raj Kapoor, Sripati Acharya, Bala Parthasarathy and Suneet Wadhwa.

With this acquisition, HP will target Snapfish’s 13 million members. The computer giant will exploit the purchase to extend its digital photoproduct offerings beyond the home, where it has previously focused its energies through its digital cameras, printers, scanners and ink supplies.

Snapfish's online photo services include editing tools and software, photo sharing, online print ordering, wireless imaging services for camera phone and handset users and personalized photoproducts. The companies have however not disclosed the terms of the acquisition, which is expected to close in April. The company was founded in 1999 and in 2000 it was nominated as top 100 startups by siliconindia.

Snapfish's website contains roughly 350 million photos, which users can organize into digital albums, share with other members, turn into calendars. Snapfish is an independent unit of District Photo Inc., which started as a black-and-white photo lab in Washington D.C. in 1949. District Photo is the world's largest mail-order film processor, with labs in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.

"Bringing Snapfish into HP's digital photography portfolio is a strategic move for both companies," said Larry Lesley, senior vice president, Consumer Imaging and Printing, HP. "By offering a superior online photo service through Snapfish, we will be able to offer the home photographer greater choice when deciding exactly how, when and where they share, store and print their photos."

Raj Kapoor, president and co-founder, has provided Snapfish with his forward thinking vision and leadership since he co-founded it in 1999. Before Snapfish, Raj was an executive at Excite@Home, where he helped grow the Internet powerhouse from 50 to 2,000 people and into a multi-billion dollar public company.

Raj received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and graduated from Carnegie Mellon with Honors and a B.S. in Mechanical/Robotics Engineering. He sits on the advisory board of Abilizer Solutions and has served as a board observer for IntoNetworks.com. Raj honed his entertainment skills with a stint as the lead singer in the rock band "Indian Elvis" and pursues daytime diversions in surfing, skiing, and running.

Bala Parthasarathy, CTO and co-founder is an Internet veteran with several start-ups under his belt. Among other things at Snapfish, Bala is responsible for Snapfish's advanced computer clustering architecture, which elastically serves up the huge number of stored digital images at Snapfish while also delivering advanced sharing, display and printing applications to it's millions of members.

Bala earned a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from University of California, Santa Cruz, and a BS from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

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