Bobble, a mobile app that converts selfies into comical stickers, has raised an undisclosed amount in Series A funding from SAIF Partners and other unnamed investors.
New Delhi-based Talent Unlimited Online Services Pvt Ltd, which owns Bobble, will use the money raised to expand the app into a full-fledged instant messaging platform, Ankit Prasad, co-founder, told Techcircle.in. It will also deploy the funds to expand into foreign markets.
Bobble creates caricatures from selfies, accompanied by customised text. These stickers can be shared across WhatsApp, WeChat, Line and other chat platforms.
Bobble's new chat interface, which will be unveiled later this month, enables users to share stickers while playing with the app. "Our main competitors would be WhatsApp and Hike, but none of the incumbent chat platforms can create personalised and customised stickers. They only provide stock emoticons and stickers," said Prasad.
Talent Unlimited Online Services also owns TouchTalent.com, a platform where creative individuals can monetise their artwork. SAIF Partners, Makemytrip's founder Deep Kalra and other leading investors had seed funded TouchTalent.com in a $700,000 round last year.
However, the current funding round is dedicated for Bobble, Prasad added.
Bobble was founded by Prasad and Mohd Wassem. Prasad studied mathematics and computing at IIT Delhi before dropping out in the final year of college to become an entrepreneur. Wassem is an alumnus of IIT Delhi and Delhi School of Economics. Before Bobble, he worked with NTPC, Aricent, Deloitte and Mercer.
Going forward, Bobble intends to start operations in Southeast Asia.
Bobble claims that it currently caters to 3.5 million users. An average user spends 2.5 hours on the app every week, Prasad said. It will explore monetisation and revenue generation avenues once its user base expands substantially, he added.
According to a recent report by global consultancy firm TNS, WhatApp is the most popular instant messaging platform in India as it covers 56 per cent of all instant messaging users. WhatsApp competes with the likes of Hike, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Google Talk, China's WeChat, Japan's Line and Nimbuzz in India. As on September 3, WhatsApp had a global active user base of 900 million. WhatsApp counts India, Brazil, Mexico and Russia among its largest markets.