Snapchat Buys Bitmoji Maker Bitstrips
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Snapchat has agreed to acquire Bitstrips, the Toronto-based maker of personalized emojis known as bitmojis, Fortune has learned from multiple sources.
One of the sources says that the deal is valued “in the ballpark” of $100 million, via a mix of cash and stock.
Bitstrips was originally founded in 2007 to help users build personalized digital comics, but in 2014 refocused on customized and shareable cartoon avatars. Users download an app, and then pick from a variety of face shapes, skin colors and other features that often result in eerily accurate portrayals. These “bitmojis” then can be put into various different poses or with different accessories, and are readily accessible for mobile communications.
It is not yet clear what Snapchat plans to do with the company, although this could help better integrate the messaging service with smartphone keyboards.
Bitstrips had raised around $11 million in venture capital funding from firms like Horizons Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
A Snapchat spokeswoman declined to comment, while Bitstrips founder Jacob “Ba” Blackstock did not respond to Fortune's inquiry.