They were the vintage photo app that came before Instagram—but failure to take advantage of social, infighting among the leadership and indecision about their product caused the company to miss its opportunity:

“Fast Company reached out to a slew of top-tier VCs but was unable to find one who had met with or even looked at the company. Two of the VCs surmised the startup would have a very difficult time raising money after the Instagram acquisition. ‘Another billion-dollar photo-sharing exit is hard to imagine. The category is over and done with, and I’d be surprised if they can even raise,’ says one of the topflight VCs.

“The investor agrees that general market sentiment for social media investments is down because of Zynga’s and Facebook’s declining market caps. However, the VC disagrees with Buick’s argument that having revenue would hurt its chances to raise funding. ‘The real problem is that Hipstamatic is perceived as a copycat that desires to be Instagram, and VCs don’t want to be in a me-too deal,’ the investor says. ‘Having revenue absolutely won’t hurt; if anything, it helps, though the idea and market size matter much more.’”