Toronto-based Bitstrips announced today $8 million in new series B funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Hong Kong-based Horizons Ventures. While not the massive $15 million series B round previously expected, the amount is still significant after a $3 million investment (also from Horizons) just last December.
Makers of the moderately annoying mobile app that turns your Facebook feed into a series avatar comics created by your friends, Bitstrips has seen incredible success in the past year. The Bitstrips app reached the #1 spot in app stores of over 40 countries and lead to the creation of 30 million avatars.
Bitstrips is back today with a new app, Bitmoji, which as you might expect is an emoji app leveraging the millions of avatars created in Bitstrips to add a more personal touch to messaging. Current Bitstrips users will already have access to their avatars for emoji creation, while new users will have a library of moods, stickers, and scenes to choose from. iOS users should also note that Bitmoji also integrates with iOS 8’s third-party keyboard support, proving users a custom keyboard filled with their Bitmoji.
With the vast popularity of emoji-based communication, and a hungry user-base eager to find new ways to use their avatars, Bitstrips likely has another success on its hands. Great marketing initiatives like its current promotion with Metro News will likely also ensure that Bitstrips avatars will stay top of mind and omnipresent in our social feeds.