Last spring we lightly touched Sumo Paint regarding a startup competition in Estonia, but today we’re going to take a slightly deeper look into the company. Sumo Paint, simply put – is your Photoshop in a browser, on steroids. It’s extremely powerful and has shown steady growth along the years. Today the service claims to have six million unique users with 130 000 registered members from over 200 countries.
Sumo Paint in short is a photo editing/painting application that works from your web browser. The application is Flash based and thus works on most of the different operating systems.
It’s not the full featured photo editing flash application that makes the service so cool, but the community that has grown around it. The service enhances a lot of different methods to incorporate the works of art, done by the community itself to drive the usage of the product. A very cool approach, I have to say. Each community member gets their own profile pages together with a gallery, favorites, friends as well as a “wall” to enable commenting and discussion between members.
The service at the moment does not have any commercial aspects in it. All usage is free, while I could think a numerous amount of different ways to capitalise on the service. One aspect that strikes me is the amount of new filters they release each month. These could be easily sold to users for a very small amount.
The company was founded by two Finns, Lauri Koutaniemi and Aaro Väänänen. The idea for the service is a few years old already and the first version of Sumo Paint was launched back on the 21st of January 2009.
Below is a video of Sumo Paint 1.0 in action. Currently the site has Sumo Paint 2 running, so in some ways the video might be outdated.
Sumo Paint’s public stats about its usage are quite a bit below what they mention on their website, but they have seen a nice spike in traffic in the recent months.