Téa Blumer joined iScribble, a collaborative drawing platform that gives digital artists the ability to draw together in real time, almost 10 years ago. The platform was integral to her growth as an artist and designer, and it gave her access to a community of like-minded creatives. But iScribble was permanently shut down in 2018 by its original owners—devastating thousands of users including Blumer, who by then was a member of NC State’s Class of 2019.
“The news that it was going to shut down was completely out of the blue,” Blumer said. “It really took everyone by surprise. At first, it was really sad. It was the end of that period of time for us.”
That’s when Blumer stepped in and acquired the platform herself.
iScribble is currently undergoing renovations to be ready for the market demands and web infrastructure of today. The now-Raleigh-based company has just pre-launched a Kickstarter. In order to launch officially, the Kickstarter must receive 3,000 sign-ups. Blumer said iScribble is also in the midst of raising a seed round of funding, which it hopes to close in the neighborhood of $250,000-$500,000.
iScribble’s previous owner (who prefers to remain anonymous) shut down the website because of tech renovations he was no longer able to spend the time doing. The platform had been a personal, volunteer project that was never expected to grow so big or impact so many lives. You can watch more about what happened to iScribble in this video.
iScribble had more than 630,000 registered users when it shut down in 2018, according to the iScribble website. Under Blumer’s leadership—she acquired the platform for undisclosed considerations—it will follow a SaaS business model.
“Accessibility is extremely important to me as an artist and an individual,” Blumer said. “I am planning for iScribble to run on a premium plan. It’s still software as a service, and you still get what iScribble was before for free.”
The free version of iScribble will allow users to collaborate on digital projects, and users will still be afforded the same digital tools they used to have—and more. Premium members will have access to additional features for creators who use iScribble on a daily basis, to help with their daily work. It might allow small businesses to commission artists and check in with them throughout the artistic process.
In its original form, iScribble was fairly rudimentary. It only gave artists about 10 tools to draw with. Now, Blumer’s goal is to step up the platform’s functionality and cater to visual artists and designers.
“In a sense,” Blumer said, “iScribble is combining this aspect of social media streaming—like Twitch TV or Youtube—with its core functionality, which is a drawing software.
Blumer is optimistic about iScribble’s future, even in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. She aims for iScribble to accommodate more than its original 20 users per project, potentially giving it the opportunity to host educational and enterprise users.
“People are really understanding and valuing the application of remote digital collaboration,” Blumer said. “Things like Zoom, which offer you ways to stay in touch when you can’t be in the same physical environment as someone. You can still be in the same virtual environment as someone else.”