Giftastic! Giphy raises $17m valuing gif search platform at $80m
Who knew gifs could be such a money-spinner?
Giphy, a platform dedicated to creating and distributing animated gif images, has raised $17m (£11.3m) in a series B funding round that values the firm at $80m (£53m).
The two-year-old New York-based company raised the funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners, General Catalyst and other previous investors (Betaworks, CAA Ventures, RRE Ventures and Lerer-Hippeau) bringing its total funding to $20.5m. Lightspeed is also an investor in Snapchat and Whisper.
Giphy is also opening itself up to other investors through US investment platform Alphaworks. It will be looking to raise another $225,000 from the Alphaworks investment community, with funding opening on 5 February.
So, what exactly is Giphy?
Gif-lovers can use the platform to search for a gif that perfectly illustrates how they are feeling. The image can then be shared via social media, email or embedded on websites. It's like Google, but specifically for gifs.
Even the president of the US uses Giphy.
Another reason to love @FLOTUS: Dunking on @KingJames. http://t.co/q3r2csVbEJ #AirFLOTUS
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 21, 2014
Giphy also works with more than 400 brands and celebrities on creating gif content and integrating it into their online products.
There are official gifs of HBO's hugely popular Game of Thrones…
And blockbuster film the Hunger Games.
It also creates a web standard for gifs and an API used by a number of apps, platforms and messaging services to make gifs work on their platforms. It currently serves three billion gifs a month.
The platform has more than 24m visitors a month (just eight months ago this was seven million).
The firm said in a (gif-filled) blog post: "Our mission has always been to organise the world's gifs, their creators, and fans. gifs are the media type for our generation's culture, our entertainment and, ultimately, our information. Giphy’s vision is to build a platform to organize all of this new information as gifs."
With the new cash funding Giphy's growth, expanding the platform and increasing its staff numbers, in a potential gif-filled future (because who doesn't love a gif?) they could just be a sound investment.
Lightspeed's Jeremy Liew, who led the latest investment round, certainly thinks so:
Here is how I feel about the @lightspeedvp investment in @giphy announced today. http://t.co/e4ovA8jXTf pic.twitter.com/NYEW4PlIzv
— Jeremy Liew, #BLM #StopAsianHate (@jeremysliew) January 29, 2015