Stock Photo Marketplace ClusterShot Hits The Deadpool (Unless …)

Back in April 2009, I wrote about a site called ClusterShot, which aimed to rival Getty Images-owned stock photography juggernaut iStockphoto. Almost two years later, the company’s calling it quits – unless a reasonable buyer steps forward with a reasonable offer.

Ironically enough, last I’d heard about ClusterShot was when they reportedly reached profitability less than a year after launching.

In a blog post published last night, CEO Dan James explains:

A little over two years ago we launched ClusterShot. We very openly called it an experiment. It was not only a technical experiment but an experiment for our company’s cultural and economic models. The experiment is coming to an end.

We, silverorange, have decided to shut ClusterShot down. This may not be a surprise to some of you; as you may have noticed, our zeal for the site quickly disappeared this summer. There are many reasons for this but the overarching theme is simply: it wasn’t quite successful enough.

ClusterShot has immediately suspended pro-account sign ups, photo uploading and new account creations, and will be refunding people who’ve already paid for the premium service in full, if they’ve signed up for a pro account within the last 2 months.

James also says there’s a 0% commission on all photos sold until the site is shut down, which is scheduled to happen on February 21.

Unless of course, a party comes forward with an offer to buy it:

If you really, really want to save ClusterShot then please make us an offer. We are open to selling the entire site, brand, and system to someone who wants to take it to the next level1. No reasonable offer by a reasonable party will be refused.

There is a lot of technical investment in ClusterShot by one of the better web development firms out there. We have spent over two years working on ClusterShot and have done what we think are some pretty cool things with it.

ClusterShot was one of the ventures of Canadian web development company silverorange, which counts Digg’s creative director and co-founder of Pownce Daniel Burka among its co-founders and partners.

It’s now going in the TechCrunch deadpool, until further notice.

(Thanks to Ferdinand J. Reinke for the tip)