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How 3 Friends Turned A Rs 23,000 Investment Into Rs 1.2 Cr Startup

| Published on October 21, 2019

We are a generation of selfie lovers. No matter the age, people nowadays are fond of getting their selfies clicked.

A Pune based company named PortraitFlip is taking things to an all-new level for photography lovers. offering people a chance to convert loved photos into treasured paintings. The picture-perfect idea, which was born from a personal pain point, has now grown into a startup that last year recorded a turnover of Rs 1.2 crore.

It all started when Lavdeep Chahal (25), a mechanical engineering student, walked up to his roommate, Sunny Chaudhury (23), for help; he needed to find a website that would help him order a handmade painting from a photo of his girlfriend.

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They realized that there were not many options available online and there was potential for a startup. They decided to involve another friend Shubhanshu Maheshwari (23) of theirs to build up an idea around the concept.

That is when PotraitFlip‘s concept was born.

Shubhanshu immediately started working on building a website. The trio put together Rs 15,000 from their pocket money and savings and later, collected another Rs 8,000 from friends to start the website.

How PotraitFlip Works?

PortraitFlip partners with studios and individual artists to create portraits from photos. At present, the startup has tied up with two studios (with more than 100 artists) and up to 30 individual artists. The startup now has one full-time content writer, one full-time graphic designer, and two interns.

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Once a user uploads a photograph on PortraitFlip’s website, they have to select a desired size and medium of painting. There are six choices of mediums, including oil, charcoal, watercolor, pencil, colored pencil, and acrylic. The paintings can be finished in three options: rolled, gallery wrapped, and framed.

Once an artist is done with a painting, the team sends a photograph of the painting to the customer for approval.

According to a report by KPMG and FICCI titled Visual arts industry in India: Painting the future, the global art industry registered total sales of $56.6 billion in 2016.

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