Snappr: From Sydney to San Fran, all thanks to an internship

Marcus Loh is a former Ribit student who’s taken his career a long way in a short time. Literally.

Since joining on-demand pro photography platform Snappr (a.k.a. ‘The Uber of Photography’), Marcus, together with co-founders Matt Schiller and Ed Kearney, has set up an office in the San Francisco Bay area.

Originally hailing from Sydney, Snappr has participated in the holy grail of accelerators – Y Combinator* – becoming the fastest growing company to emerge from its recent batch.

Not bad for a company which started out offering photography services during university graduations. Their expansion meant necessitated a need for more talent so they approached Ribit in early 2016.

Snapping up Marcus

Over at the University of Sydney, Marcus, a second-year mechanical engineering student heard about an upcoming Ribit student-business speed networking event and decided to give it a go.

“Towards the end of the night, I went over and spoke to Matt and Ed. I couldn’t stop thinking about Snappr, and started working with them on weekends. Once they raised funds, I took a leap of faith and asked them for a full-time role”, Marcus said.

Matt said they originally hadn’t even thought about a job description for their first employee.

“We initially brought Marcus on with the jack-of-all-trades title of ‘Analyst’, but then we realised he was capable of much more and he became our Operations Manager. Marcus is incredibly important as the interface between us, thousands of photographers who’ve applied to be on the platform, and our customers. He manages the bulk of the logistics and has led our operational expansion”, he said.

Straightforward connections

“When I first came across Ribit, I thought it was such a cool idea. There are so many barriers when it comes to busy founders and students getting to meet and it seemed like such an easy and frictionless way to connect”, Matt said.

“A lot of businesses and startups like us would be put off trying to arrange something like this ourselves, but it’s so easy to search student’s profiles with the automatic matches generated for you.

“Getting to meet students of this calibre in a couple of hours would have taken us more than a week on our own. Small businesses and startups just don’t have that kind of time.”

Marcus is equally enthusiastic.

“I learnt more at Snappr in the first two months than I did in two years at uni – everything from business, finance, marketing, managing people…never did I think I would have this opportunity to work in such an environment at such a young age, with such an incredible company. It’s very humbling.

“Ribit really addresses a real market need for us students, who don’t have easy ways to find good companies and startups to work with. I think what Ribit is doing is really great so hats off to you guys.”

*Y Combinator is the most prestigious and successful accelerator in the world – responsible for the success of Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe, Reddit. The incubator receives more than 7,200 applications for each round with only 100 making it each batch – the top 1% of startups worldwide. Snappr was the only Australian company accepted in the last round.