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Shutterstock founder Jon Oringer on 'opportunistic' M&A strategy

Kerry Flynn
Jun 14, 2022
Photo illustration of Jon Oringer, founder of Shutterstock, with an image depicting photos and content surrounded by abstract shapes.

Shutterstock founder Jon Oringer. Photo illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios. Photo: Andrew Walker

Shutterstock shares hit a one-year low Monday and have lost half their value year to date. Despite the headwinds, the company has continued to invest in the business.

  • Founder and CEO Jon Oringer says Shutterstock has an opportunistic M&A strategy, and looking at the last few months, it isn't empty talk.
  • Last month, Shutterstock bought two companies to expand its content marketplace of photos, video, audio and 3D formats.

Details: "If you continue to focus on your business and make the right moves and be opportunistic through M&A — ignore the market as much as possible ... you come out of these things stronger than you entered them," Oringer says.

  • Shutterstock's most recent acquisition was Splash News, a popular source of photos and videos from news, sports and celebrity events. Just prior, it acquired Pond5, a marketplace of stock videos and licensable music.
  • Last year, Shutterstock bought photo editing and design software PicMonkey and 3D asset marketplace TurboSquid.

Of note: Oringer pointed out that the company has very little debt.

  • Acquisitions have grown Shutterstock's content library, expanded its customer base and helped it support new assets like 3D images and audio.
  • "The worst thing you can do with acquisition is take everything they're good at it and mash it with your current business in a way where you dissolve that out," Oringer says. "We buy companies with teams that have functionality and capabilities that we want to have live on in our organization."

What's next: On July 1, board member Paul Hennessy becomes CEO. He succeeds Oringer, who was serving in an interim capacity and will resume his role as executive chairman.

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