Giphy has raised $72 million. The massive equity funding hails from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, as well as Institutional Venture Partners and China Media Capital.
The sizeable round now values the GIF search engine at $600 million, according to the Wall Street Journal—double its valuation at the start of the year. The New York company has now raised $150 million in total.
Giphy says 100 million see its GIFs daily and has 75 employees. However, it has had difficulty with monetization.
GIFs have been around since the dawn of the internet but the low-res looping graphics were never supposed to survive as the web advanced. Whereas low-grade technology would normally become antiquated and forgotten about, GIFs established cult classic status before resurrecting into a full-blown component of internet culture. The highly shareable and accessible format of GIFs lends them to going viral and these days they are as much a part of millennial correspondence as emojis and memes.
But they’re not easy to make money from, as Giphy knows well. The company wants to be “the YouTube of GIFs” and plans to dip into sports events and movies through partnerships to profit from real-time content. But it’s hardly the only GIF platform, and the vast majority of users don’t know—or care—which site created a particular GIF when viewing and sharing.