You’ve already seen GIFs, stickers, Bitmojis, Kimojis, emojis, and plain old stickers taking both mobile and desktop by storm. You have keyboards that let you search for existing GIFs, and platforms that let you make personal emojis that can be integrated into today’s hottest messaging platforms such as Snapchat. But what about custom-made GIFS or stickers? Guggy makes that possible.
“Guggy allows users to seamlessly send their text messages in the form of GIFS or stickers,” says Rotem Yakir, CEO and Co-founder of the Mindspace based-startup. “We recreate text messages in real time with GIFs or stickers that contain the inputted text,” he says, going on to explain the nitty-gritty details of how Guggy works under the framework of a messaging oriented natural language processing (NLP) engine.
“The engine knows how to analyze your text message, understand its context, and recreate it using GIFS and stickers that match the context of the text,” he explains. Users are presented with multiple matching GIFS and stickers per input, and have the power to choose which medium to ultimately use.
Given, for example, the input of “Do you want a burger?” Guggy yields a slew of results – amongst them, a GIF of a chef’s burger, of Homer Simpson or Marshall Eriksen (from How I Met Your Mother) downing a burger, or of a Burger King commercial. Stickers yield a bright-green dinosaur chomping on some meat, or of Lilo (of Lilo & Stitch) hungrily licking his front teeth. The results change with each text input; Even giving identical texts at different instances yields unique results.
“I always wanted to combine my passion for humor and technology,” says Yakir. Guggy was formed out of that desire. “When we realized that GIF creation could be automatic, Guggy was created,” he says. “It was ideal because we always wanted to find a way that would enable anyone, even parents, to create GIFs.”
The technology works in three different ways, Yakir says. The first is in the form of a chat bot. “We have bots on several different platforms,” he says. “You can use Guggy on Slack, Telegram, Kik, Facebook or HipChat” in this manner. The second is through the use of the Guggy FunApp, an app for Android, “which allows you to use Guggy directly within any messaging platform, including Whatsapp.” The third is through the direct integration of the Guggy platform into existing messaging apps. Such is the case with Hop Messenger, for example.
Guggy, live for four months, generates over 600,000 GIFS and stickers per day for an estimated 60,000 daily users. Demand for the platform is fast growing, and three additional integrations into existing keyboards (BubbleApp, Zalo, and Viber) are expected in the next three months. They’ve been at Mindspace for six months, and have benefitted from the collaboration fostered by coworking. “We are constantly consulting with other Mindsapce peers,” says Yakir.
The networking has paid off too. The young startup was recently approached by a member of Hamburg-based Next Media Accelerator – a program specializing in media-tech – and urged to apply to their 6-month program. “The accelerator has a partnership with Mindspace Hamburg, and one of their team members suggested we apply,” says Yakir. “But right now we are in a place where we can grow 500% in one month…we’ve had a huge development in our product and traction has picked up. So we’re in a different place, and not sure we can afford to pick up and go to Germany right now.”
The Guggy team has grown from a cousin duo to a team of four. Their vision is to scale fast, and have high retention rates. “If right now 100 million GIFS are being exchanged per day on messaging apps, we want to make it 1 billion,” says Yakir.
Looking ahead – potential revenue for Guggy lies in sponsored GIFs. “We’re talking with a media agency,” says Yakir when addressing the path to revenue stream generation. But the startup has yet to incorporate the sponsored content.
For more information on Guggy, visit Guggy.com.