Smartphones have made flipping through photo albums a relic of the past.
It’s easy to peruse and share a digital photo archive, but some people miss looking through photos while sitting next to family and friends.
At least that’s what motivated serial entrepreneur Alan Chan to create Joy, a smart photo album.
He says that he realized “family photo-sharing is broken” after his daughter was born two years ago. “Printing photo books is very laborious and time-consuming.”
So Chan has raised $7 million to build a better photo product. The round is led by Obvious Ventures and consumer investor David Heller. This brings the total funding to $9.5 million.
Chan believes Joy is better than the digital photo frames or the viewing experience of an Apple TV. It has a 13.3″ full HD touchscreen and can sync photos from a range of services, including Google, Facebook and Instagram.
It’s not just photos, but also supports video. Users can add voice notes to correspond with the experiences.
But it’s not cheap. The newly launched device will set you back $499. Whether people will pay top dollar for a product whose mission is fairly narrow, compared with other, similarly priced options available to them, is another sizable question.
Chan claims it’s worth the money because it “creates the ultimate story-telling device with your family.” He says that other products only show you one photo at a time.
Heller says that he invested because it “solves a major consumer pain point and the addressable market is massive.”
Joy, founded roughly a year ago in San Francisco, plans to eventually build additional products at varied price points.