Imgur was founded in 2009 as a personal image hosting project by Alan Schaaf while he was studying computer science at Ohio University. After he showed off the fast image sharing capabilities of the site, it was quickly embraced by communities like Reddit and citizens all across the interweb today.
“My Gift to Reddit: I created an image hosting service that doesn’t suck. What do you think?” Schaaf said from his dorm room after initially launching the site. The site grew from 46,000 monthly pageviews in 2009 to over one billion by 2012, when the three-person company won the Best Boostrapped Crunchies award.
Since then, Imgur has added four more engineers and released mobile apps for Android and iOS. The site has also launched a Meme generator to help users create even more viral content with no limit in sight, starring the likes of the Most Interesting Man in the World, Grumpy Cat, Morpheus and Game of Thrones’ Lord Eddard Stark, among others.
So how did Imgur go from a bootstrapped startup to serving 3.6 billion pageviews per month and winning back-to-back Chrunchies in 2012 and 2013 without accepting an investor’s dime?