New York’s Tech Scene Mints Its First Billionaire

By Cameron Scott 

new york, silicon alley, silicon valley, shutterstock, jonathan oringer, IPOsThe New York tech scene, dubbed Silicon Alley, has gotten a lot of PR of late, with hot companies like MakerBot, Tumblr, Etsy and Foursquare and the high-profile venture firm Union Square Ventures.

And yet it wasn’t until today that it produced a billionaire founder, according to a Bloomberg Report.

And the lucky winner was … Jonathan Oringer, the founder of the unsexy but solidly profitable Shutterstock. (Full disclosure: MediaBistro subscribes to a low-cost Shutterstock plan.)

Oringer, 39, owns about 55 percent of Shutterstock, which has performed well since a 2012 IPO. Its share price has spiked up this week.

Shutterstock has 750,000 customers and has created a successful business model by licensing rather than owning the 25 million images in its database. The model has drawn talent and kept costs low, according to Bloomberg.

Recent high-price tag acquisitions of MakerBot and Tumblr have helped brighten Silicon Alley’s reputation, but both companies are now headquartered in California’s Silicon Valley. Tumblr founder David Karp received a percentage of that company’s $1 billion price tag, falling short of billionaire status.