ScribbleChat, which wants to humanize the digital chat experience by offering 3D handwriting and animated stickers, announced today that it is integrating with Microsoft-owned Skype. For now, only Skype’s mobile users will be able to experiment with ScribbleChat, but the extension will be available to desktop users in 2018, according to a statement.
ScribbleChat was launched earlier this year and is the brainchild of Handwriting.io, a software startup that has created more than 200 authentic digital handwriting styles for business communications. Based in New York City, Handwriting.io has more than 10 customers, which include 1-800 Flowers, Hallmark, and Bloomingdale’s. Now, with ScribbleChat, the startup is opening up its technology to the consumer side.
“The mobile communications industry has reached a point of stagnation, where emojis are no longer meeting our desired needs when it comes to expression,” said Handwriting.io CEO and cofounder Eloise Bune, in a statement.
According to the chief executive, ScribbleChat has more than 1 million users who can either use the ScribbleChat app on iOS and Android, or experiment with the 3D handwriting and animated stickers on chat platforms that have been integrated with the technology. These include iMessage, Kik, Facebook Messenger, and now Skype.
Users choose a handwriting style that looks and feels like theirs. They can then change the color, paper background style, and animated text effect to further personalize their messages. “If users want their very own handwriting captured, that is possible, and is captured on a tablet using a stylus,” said Bune, in an exclusive interview with VentureBeat.
The handwriting is only available in English for now, but “based on demand, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Cyrillic will be available soon,” added Bune.
In Q1 of 2018, users will have the ability to purchase 16 animated sticker packs for $1.99, according to ScribbleChat. These will be seasonal and/or occasion-based special effects (think holidays and The Avengers).
To date, Handwriting.io has raised a total of $7.7 million, which includes a recent round of $2.75 million to fuel ScribbleChat’s growth. Broadway Angels, The Perkins Fund, BBG Ventures, Halogen Ventures, and Golden Seeds all participated.
Founded in 2011, Handwriting.io currently has 10 employees.