Rumor has it that Snapchat, the ephemeral video messaging app, has just paid $100 million for Bitstrips, a Toronto-based startup that builds the famous Bitmojis.
The news was first reported by Fortune, which cited a source familiar with the deal, and Wall Street Journal followed shortly after to confirm that Snapchat Inc. has agreed to pay a little over $100 million in cash and stock for the acquisition of Bitstrips Inc.
Even though Snapchat has been surrounded by controversies, data leakage and some privacy issues, the app has gained serious traction among its younger users. Due to its increased accessibility and user-friendly character, Bitstrips’ Bitmoji has also become gained fame among smartphone users.
You just download the app, and you can design your own personalized avatar, using the wide range of hair colors, hair styles, face shapes, eye colors, and many other features.
After you’ve created you avatar, you can add Bitmoji as a third-party keyboard on your smartphone so then you can send these as emojis on nearly all apps that support emojis.
The app works a lot like a personalized emoji keyboard, similar to CyanogenMod on an Android phone. It’s become so popular among the social networking enthusiasts that Bitmoji that it’s starting to become a sort of “digital identity.”
Meanwhile, Snapchat has yet to confirm the acquisition officially, as it refused to comment the rumors to anyone. However, experts agree that it would be a great move for the company to start planning a better keyboard integration.
Bitstrips could also give Snapchat’s revenue a healthy boost in the long term. The company hopes to generate at least $300 million in revenue over the course of 2016, which is a definite increase from the $50 million reported in 2015.
For now, Snapchat’s pockets are lined with revenue coming from Snapchat Channels, video ads, and personalized lenses. With the new purchase, Bitmoji would be added to Snapchat’s advertising ecosystem, which could attract more investors, brands, and users.
According to Bitstrips reports, the company has raised well over $11 million in venture capital funding from the firms like Horizons Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Meanwhile, Snapchat’s investors have brought just over $1.3 million funding, so the company is on a shopping spree.
A Financial Times report sees a bright future for Snapchat. In 2015, the app saw more than 6 billion video views per day. Despite having much shorter video length compared to YouTube and Facebook, analysts have been impressed with the figures, especially given the fact that their userbases cannot even be compared. You go, Snapchat!
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