Jon Oringer marches along the gutted 21st floor of the Empire State Building and ducks out a window onto a deck to pose for a magazine shoot, snapping his own photos as the photographer snaps photos of him. Starting this winter, the entire floor (and an identical one below it) will play home to Shutterstock SSTK -2.07%, Oringer’s 295-person photo website whose shares have more than tripled to a $2.5 billion market value since their debut on the NYSE last October.
It’s an appropriate headquarters for New York’s first tech billionaire ($1.3 billion, to be exact) as he looks to ride the proliferation of screens, smartphones and bandwidth to turn Shutterstock into the world’s largest marketplace for buying and selling images. Right now that title belongs to the Carlyle Group-owned Getty Images, but over the last few months Oringer, 39, has inked a deal with Facebook FB -0.76% for its advertisers, launched offerings of high-end photography and raised $276 million in a secondary offering–all while expanding and simplifying his library of 25 million images and a million videos searchable in 20 languages. What began ten years ago with one $1,000 Canon Rebel and a 600-square-foot office has exploded into a platform that adds 20,000 new photos a day from 40,000 contributors in more than 100 nations.