The line of failed music messaging startups is long and ignoble, but British firm Emoticast thinks it can build a business – and now it has $5m to back its ambitions.
The startup raised a ‘super angel round’ of funding from investors including Sean Parker, Will.i.am, David Guetta, former Maker Studios boss Ynon Kreiz, and Napster co-chairman Jason Epstein.
Emoticast is the company behind “music GIFs” app TuneMoji, which helps people send GIFs based on music videos and artists to friends using their messaging app of choice.
Founded by former MySpace exec James Fabricant, Emoticast already has licensing deals with Universal Music and Warner Music as well as various publishers.
We first wrote about the company in November 2015, when it raised $1.2m of seed funding to launch what it was then calling “the world’s first music emoji store”.
Fabricant is certainly ambitious: “Emoticast is primed to become the micro-YouTube for messaging built on a foundation of premium licensed content,” he said as the latest funding was announced.
Emoticast is planning to expand beyond music to TV and film GIFs, but is also keen to work with musicians: starting in April with a partnership involving messaging app Kik and perennial startup-collaborator Snoop Dogg.