50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2019

Fotor: Harnessing Revolution in the Field of Photo Editing and Design Making


“Our mission is to make photo editing and design easy for everyone.”

The most important part of capturing photos is the work that happens after they’ve been shot. The photo editing processing can both makeup for effects that you couldn’t create while shooting and enhance any beautiful features that were captured. Editing is the icing any good layer cake needs (yes photography is the cake). Photo editing and designing are the processes of altering images, whether they are digital photographs, traditional photo-chemical photographs, or illustrations.

We’re delighted to present Fotor, where these processes have become approachable to everyone.

Fotor is an online photo editing suite, utilizing cutting-edge technology to bring an unprecedented level of editing control to anyone and everyone. The firm has helped more than 350 million users from 230 countries across the globe to process billions of photos and graphics.

The company was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Sichuan, China.

In conversation with the Founder/CEO of Fotor – Tony Duan

Q. What is the reason behind the genesis of Fotor? How did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?

With technology that hadn’t quite matured yet, but balanced by a thorough understanding of the software market back then, we witnessed quite a few limitations. The long downloading process, the inflexibility of changing devices, and dated promotional strategies were all reasons that drove us to seek new opportunities in this industry and start Fotor as an online photo editor.

Fotor was planned to be a powerful, yet easy-to-use online photo editing suite. From necessary adjustments, to portrait retouching, photo effects, professional HDR, and curve adjustment, Fotor covers them all in one go and presents all these features to users effortlessly and stylishly. Everybody can quickly get the hand of Fotor after only a few minutes. We were dubbed “Photoshop Lite” by BBC.

Q. In this modern business world, what exactly mean by “a smart company”?

A smart company can always get dissect their customers’ needs and cater to said needs with natural solutions. We believe that a smart company is one that provides an easy and intelligent solution for any problem a customer may encounter. We want to make it easy enough for the average Joe to work just fine.

Q. They say smartness & technology is a perfect fusion. How often do you innovate?

We have already adopted the changes and are leading by example. We have a very young and creative team full of potential. The company always encourages our employees to innovate and develop new technologies as the customer’s requirements evolve.

Q. “Earning trust and respect consumers is through consistent focus and actions,” how do you interpret this statement?

The Fotor team has been a product-oriented and customer-oriented company, and we never stop looking to find ways to improve our product. With this mission on everyone’s minds, we can create a professional design, make photo editing and design accessible to everyone. We have done so much to simplify the learning curve our consumers have to climb. We make it possible for our users to create professional graphics with the least amount of effort.

Q. Customer service varies, but companies can still be successful. How do you maintain your customers’ trust and loyalty?

To maintain customer trust and loyalty, you need to figure out what your customers are thinking and what they want: Providing high-quality products is the penultimate thing you need to do. Cater to your customer’s needs and keep exploring how to make things easier for them. We have been working hard to solve any problems and doubts our customers face while using Fotor.

Q. How do you stay relevant to consumer interests and needs in this highly volatile market?

At the very beginning, Fotor used to offer two features, Edit and Collage. Since this field was undergoing so many rapid changes, it was necessary to add features, so we have since added the Design feature which enables customers to make graphics for both life and work.

Changing our technological foundation from Flash to HTML 5 was also a massive leap for us. We made the change in 2017, and Fotor was the world’s first online photo editor and graphic design application powered by HTML 5 technology, which now allows for a faster performance and superior experience. It took us about a full year to transition. To stay ahead, you have to ensure you’re always providing users with a superior experience, no matter the cost is.

Q. Fostering constructive feedback is crucial to success of every organization. How is this true with your company?

The company has been in the pursuit of a casual office atmosphere, good relations between colleagues, and close interactions within the team. We let our employees understand that they are not only doing a job but are also creating a career! Plus, we encourage healthy competition in business, and the employees are awarded based on their performances.

Q. How does your company contribute to social welfare?

As a company, Fotor is rewarding society by helping the community in any way we can. In 2017, we decided to set up our NGO project and provide free access to non-profit organizations. Our NGO project started in 2018, and we have supported dozens of NGOs. We also offer students a 20 percent discount.

Q. Do you have any new products ready to be launched?

Currently, we’re not preparing anything at the moment, but we’re working on a completely new Fotor, which will provide a better user experience and powerful features that our customers want. We may consider a new product or explore some other practical features after the latest version is ultimately published.

Q. Where do you see your company couple of years from now?

The team has a powerful passion for learning about new technologies and changes within the industry. So, we’re always the first to explore unique possibilities the latest technologies and strategies present and try to bring it to the users. I think our team is very ambitious and technology-oriented.

The Leader Behind Fotor’s Rise: Tony Duan

Tony Duan, Founder, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Fotor. Mr. Duan serves as professor/honorary professor at many renowned universities, and shoulders project research in several other institutions.

“Fotor is the world’s first online photo editor and graphic design application powered by HTML 5 technology that offers a faster performance and superior experience.”