Once-Hot Social Startup VSCO Finds Success With Subscriptions

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VSCO, a hip photo-and-video-editing app popular with people younger than 25, captured attention as a startup riding the early mobile, social wave. Instagram tried to buy it at one point and VSCO later raised $70 million in venture funding. But finding a profitable business model was tougher. To cut costs, the Oakland, Calif.–based company closed its New York office last January.

Now, 7-year-old VSCO has found new life selling subscriptions. VSCO says it has amassed more than one million subscribers in the 14 months since it launched a $20-a-year membership program called VSCO X. It offers photo filters, which it used to sell only individually, as well as video-editing and photo tutorials.

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