Holler Gifs Ai Series 51mtechcrunch: Holler, the only social media app for creating and buying branded stickers and GIFs, just raised $36M in a Series B funding round. This brings their total raised to $51M. Their latest round was led by Kakao Ventures.
The company says that it plans to use this round to continue developing the app and grow its user base from 35 million monthly active users worldwide to 50 million by next May.
This funding round also saw participation from existing investors, including Vectr Ventures (formerly M&S Partners), which led Holler’s $2.3 million seed round in 2016, and Daum Kakao Investment.
Holler is a Seoul-based startup that was founded in 2015 by CEO Kooka Kim, Jungmin Lee, Sungkoo Yoon and Hyungyeon Park. The company has been compared to Snapchat as a way to share funny pictures, GIFs and stickers on the go.
However, unlike Snapchat, users can monetize what they share using tokens called “Holler.”
Holler is currently available for iOS in Korea and has plans to launch in the US soon. The company also has plans for an Android version in the future.
When asked about his plans for the company in an interview with TechCrunch, CEO Kooka Kim stated that “as long as we can keep on innovating and delivering value to our users and advertisers, we will continue to be committed in executing our company strategy.”
Holler was previously named a finalist for the 2016 Startup Battlefield Asia by Launchpad Accelerator. The company was also recognized as a “Newcomer of 2016” by Venture Beat Korea.
- The Team/Leadership
The founding team of Holler includes CEO Kooka Kim, Chief Technology Officer Sungkoo Yoon, Chief Marketing Officer Hyungyeon Park, Chief Growth Officer Jungmin Lee and Chief Financial Officer Sangwook Lee. The company has also been staffed by a number of interns which have included Youngwon Chung (vice president of marketing) and Bumjoon Kim (director of design).
- Where are they based?
Holler is based in Seoul, South Korea.
- What is the size of the company?
Holler has 22 employees at the time of writing.
- How did they come up with the idea?
Holler was founded in 2015 when Jungmin Lee and Sungkoo Yoon (who were working on an AI platform) “wanted to make a fun app that used AI” according to CEO Kooka Kim.
They joined forces with Hyungyeon Park, who had experience working in the advertising industry, as well as other engineers. The app was launched in 2015 with a focus on entertainment and fun.
The company says that the app has over 35 million users, 4 million daily active users and 150 million monthly active users.
- What challenges have they had to overcome?
The main challenge that Holler has faced is to build up their user base while also ensuring that they have an engaged audience. The company is also looking to expand their range of stickers and GIFs.
- What are some of the biggest milestones for the past year?
Earlier this year, Holler signed a deal with Kakao to allow users to buy stickers and GIFs by reading text messages.
They have also just launched an AI tool that analyzes text messages and videos sent via Holler’s stickers in order to suggest relevant stickers related to what’s being shared. The company also plans on using AI to help users share relevant GIFs and stickers.
- What are some of the major milestones coming up in the next year?
Their next milestone is to grow the user base to 50 million by May next year. Their long term goal is to become a global social platform that provides users with a fun and valuable experience.
- What are some of the key factors that have contributed to their success?
Holler has seen success through its current app which has allowed users to monetize what they share, coupled with its innovative use of AI.
- Who are their competitors?
Holler’s main competitors are Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook.
- What is their revenue model? How do they make money?
Holler generates revenue by charging an average of $1 per use for using any of its stickers or GIFs.