Snapchat has apparently acquired Bitstrips, a Toronto-based brand that develops the popular Bitmojis. According to sources who talked under the condition of anonymity to Fortune, the deal has cost $100 million to the Evan Spiegel’s social network.
Bitmoji has been well-received by smartphone owners thanks to its friendly use. Users just need to download the app and create a personalized avatar with features that represent them. They can select different hair colors, face shapes, haircuts, eye colors, etc.
Then, users can enable Bitmoji to function as a third-party keyboard, so they can send their creations to friends through multiple apps. It appears that users love personalized emojis since they offer a better representation of their thoughts and personalities. Some tech analysts have even called them as the new “digital identity.”
According to Forbes, Bitstrips was founded in 2007 as a personalized comics platform. However, it later developed as an app to create customized and shearable cartoon avatars. It appears that Snapchat has not yet commented about its new acquisition, however, tech analysts suggest that the company could be planning a better integration with smartphone keyboards.
Sources seem to suggest that Bitstrips has collected approximately $11 million in venture capital funding, provided by firms like Horizons Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Snapchat, which has collected more than $1.3 million from investors, has also acquired other companies such as Vergence Labs, which developed the technology for the Lenses.
Snapchat could integrate Bitstrips to its advertising ecosystem
Most of Snapchat’s income is obtained by advertising. Recently, the social network led by Evan Spiegel announced that everyone who is interested can buy geo filters and determine where they want them to appear, and for how long, from prices up to $5.
The Snapchat advertising ecosystem is also based on lenses, video ads and Snapchat Channels. That being said, Bitmoji could be presented as a new interesting platform for users, investors and brands.
“All the movies, all the television shows, all the fashion houses, all the pop stars, they all want to be Bitmojis because we somehow became the determinant of who has made it,” Bitstrips Chief Executive Jacob Blackstock recently told Forbes.
Last year, the Financial Times reported that Snapchat was registering more than 6 billion video views per day. Analysts are impressed with those numbers since the giant Facebook registers 8 billion views per day, but it has a larger base of 1.01 billion daily active users.