We heard from many sources that Giphy, the large GIFs hosting platform that also runs a GIF keyboard, held discussions to launch a new round of funding – even it is not clear ever crossed the finish line.
The sources have set a figure of about $ 100 million, but this may have changed over time. We've been hearing about it for a while, and the rumors seem to have started a few months ago. As always, discussions may have changed over time. In the end, Giphy may not have been funded at all, and for now, we hear that nothing is imminent. Giphy last raised $ 72 million for a $ 600 million valuation at the end of 2016.
But the consumer investment environment is not necessarily dead, nor even in purgatory, right now. HQ Trivia, for example, has raised $ 15 million for a $ 100 million valuation. This happens in the middle of a period when the GIF space seems to be warming up. Since the space seems to be growing rapidly, it makes sense to try to raise additional capital in order to get the right partnerships – and to recruit the right talent to optimize the experience so that users get the right GIFs at the right time. and keep coming back to the platform again and again. Given the growth, and that the business model is not fully expanded, it makes sense that Giphy can use additional money.
Applications in the space clearly have a dynamic. Giphy says that he has 300 million active users a day – which, according to people you ask in the Valley, could have a number of different interpretations. One of Giphy's competitors, Tenor, says that searches on his platform constitute a successful measure – saying that he reached 12 billion GIF searches in February. Gfycat, meanwhile, is positioning itself as a business-oriented creative toolset with mechanisms that optimize the loyalty of incoming GIF, which also says to have about 130 million active users per month. Gfycat raised $ 10 million in 2016, while Tenor (formerly Riffsy) raised $ 10 million in 2015.
It also presents a unique opportunity for all these platforms to start thinking about sponsored content. For example, if you open a GIF search engine inside a keyboard, any of these companies could implement a sponsored GIF in the search rail. If it's pretty sticky and reaches the right place, it could reach an incredibly high share of shares and, as a result, offer a lot of opportunities to companies looking to create GIFs.
This type of branded content model is usually messaging-related, but GIFs can offer leagues a higher engagement than the average ad, which advertisers are looking for.
You will find many Gfycat links on the Internet, but some of the most fertile ground for these platforms exists in the different messaging platforms. Facebook Messenger, for example, uses these platforms in a more or less indiscriminate way – switching from one service to the other relatively easily as it simply seeks to optimize the user experience. and give it the best content. But for iMessage, for example, users install a specific keyboard. None of these applications are exactly blockbusters (nor should they be compared to apps like Facebook).
Here is the Giphy app, where you can search for GIFs and copy them and so, for the last 90 days:
GIFs are becoming increasingly popular, thanks in part to their ability to compress a ton of information into a short clip. This compression provides a powerful and memorable communication, which is ideal for messaging but also for advertising.
While you can easily write a text that tries to translate this information, looking for a GIF that translates not only the text but also the type of subtext offers a ton of value. It is thanks to this that these platforms have reached such importance – both with the number of daily active users of 300 million Giphy and the number of monthly searches of 12 billion Tenor. They take different approaches to measuring their success, but the fact remains that this is a pretty massive opportunity.
We reached out to Giphy several times to comment, but we did not hear. We will update the story when we hear them.