Digital photo company Mslide to announce funding

The tiny start-up secures $4 million in an effort to market digital photo services made possible by the advent of cheap and effective digital cameras.

Mslide, a tiny Sausalito, Calif., start-up trying to carve a niche for itself in the crowded digital photography market, has secured $4 million in its first round of funding, the company will announce tomorrow.

Venture capital investment firm Canaan Partners, which has joined Mslide's board of directors, led the first round of funding, said Dan Hobin, the company's founder. The company has partnerships with Microsoft, Kodak PhotoNet online and Zing.com.

Launched nearly a year ago, Mslide allows amateur photographers to turn their digital pictures into online slide shows accompanied by music.

"There are a lot of online photo services out there, ranging from storage sharing to printing and digitizing film development," Hobin said in an interview. "We wanted to take the next step. We were looking at what else you can do with your digital image."

In the next few months, Mslide's 11-employee operation will move to new offices in San Francisco.

Mslide is the latest to join a stampede of start-ups offering digital photo services sparked by the advent of cheap and effective digital cameras.

Snapfish.com last month announced plans to offer free photo processing and prints for its Jan. 17 launch. Also in December, Net veteran Jim Clark unveiled his newest venture, Shutterfly.com, offering digital printing services over the Web.

Heavyweights like Hewlett-Packard have also jumped into the digital photography market. HP offers online photo albums that allow friends and family to share pictures over the Web.