Striking just the right tone in a text message or conveying complex ideas via tweets can be quite a challenge, which must be why Zlango, an app that enables users to communicate with images rather than words, just hit the 1.25 billion text mark.

Just as the Egyptians used hieroglyphics, texters can choose from a range of avatars, icons, and symbols to express themselves in a personal and unique way. The images are designed to reflect spoken language, slang, and culture to create more emotionally engaging messages. More than just fun and games, Zlango offers a marketing platform for brands. Brands can feature icons in the Zlango virtual store, which fans can then buy and use in their daily communications.

“Zlango’s branded content enables enthusiasts to bring iconic brands and creative images to their daily text messaging experience,” said CEO Roni Haim. “As consumers search for more ways to clearly communicate via texts, Zlango offers high-impact images to bring popular culture and visual expression straight to their phones.”

The company has raised $22 million to date, led by Benchmark Capital, with contributions from Accel and DAG Ventures. It currently has 25 employees with headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel and a lead office in San Francisco.

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