Local language content GIF provider GIFSKEY raises $1 M led by Kstart


The Hyderabad-based local language GIF content startup GIFSKEY will use the funding for business development activities and enhancing technology on its platform.

GIFSKEY, a search engine for curated local content of GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) images, raised $1 million in a seed round led by Kstart, the seed fund of Kalaari Capital. The funding round also had participation from its existing investor Whiteboard Capital along with WEH Ventures, AngelList, and Touchstone.

According to a statement from the company, the funding will be deployed for business development activities and enhancing technology on its platform.

Founded in 2017 by Mahesh Gogineni, Manan Maheshwari and Varun MS, GIFSKEY provides GIFs and stickers in eight Indian languages. The trio's previous startup Zapluk was acquired by Quikr in 2016.

GIFSKEY Co-founders Varun, Manan and Mahesh

Revant Bhate, Partner at Kstart, said, “GIFSKEY has created a strong niche in the vernacular content market. The traction and partnerships that Mahesh, Manan and Varun have achieved over the past year is impressive and we are excited to work with them to create a product to serve the next billion vernacular Indian internet users.”

The Hyderabad-based company claims to have an average of 100 million impressions a month currently and partnerships with 30 apps, including Dailyhunt, Xploree keyboard and APUS, and is in talks with other major content players and keyboards for the same.

“Mobile users preferring regional language content are growing tremendously in India, and we are excited to be building a platform to deliver fresh, relevant and trending vernacular content across eight Indian languages. Technology is the backbone of our company, which will enable us to deliver content seamlessly, and we feel that it will be great differentiating factor going forward,” says Mahesh.

With Giphy and Gfycat being the larger players in the GIF space, in India, the market for GIFs is said to be one billion impressions a month with 300 million people across the world sharing nearly two billion GIFs every day. Founded by IIT-Bombay alumni Pritam Roy, Manch is a platform for user-generated local content to cater to the non-English speaking population in tier II and tier III cities. Manch had raised $750,000 from Stellaris Venture last month.

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