Emoticast, a social platform that strives to bring a little pop culture to the mobile messaging mix, has closed a $5 million funding round from some notable angel investors, including Napster cofounder and early Facebook president Sean Parker, hip-hop mogul Will.i.am, and DJ and producer David Guetta.
Founded in London in 2014 by MySpace’s former European head James Fabricant, Emoticast offers a range of social apps across Android and iOS, such as TuneMoji, which lets users share music-themed GIFs across WhatsApp, Messenger, iMessage, and other popular messaging services.
The company has inked deals with major publishers, music labels, and other entertainment companies to tap a fairly expansive collection of music. The company says it’s also pushing to broaden its scope beyond music and into the wider movie and TV realm.
Prior to now, Emoticast had raised a small $1.2 million seed round, and it says it will use its fresh cash injection to develop more original content with artists and grow its partners across the entertainment spectrum. Indeed, next month Emoticast is teaming up with Snoop Dogg on chat app Kik, where Snoop will take over TuneMoji’s bot and encourage users to “express themselves by sharing custom GIFs that include his music,” the company says.
“We’re delighted to welcome such rock star investors to Emoticast,” said Fabricant. “Emoticast is primed to become the micro-YouTube for messaging built on a foundation of premium licensed content. The backing of such high-profile individuals from the worlds of music, technology and entertainment is validation of the company’s success in catalyzing partnerships across the entertainment and messaging industries.”
Other investors in the round include ex-Maker Studios CEO Ynon Kreiz; Jason Epstein, a board member at Rhapsody International, the parent company behind Rhapsody / Napster; Nicole Junkermann, through Montilla International Corporation; and Alan Cannistraro, a former senior engineer at both Apple and Facebook.