Israeli Aniways adds a supplemental round of $1M while introducing an intuitive solution for emoticons
Israeli startup Aniways, developer of next generation emoticons, announced the completion of a $1M funding round led by Horizon Ventures along with Kima Ventures and a number of contributing angels. Alongside the announcement of the funding, the company announced the launch of its SDK, which will allow all developers to implement their emoticon technology for their chat applications.
Smile, heart, smiley
Today, if you want to express your mood without words, you usually use keyboard symbols that may or may not translate into standard emoticons, or otherwise make use of an internal menu of emoto options available on select messaging applications. Were you to look you would find the fitting emoticon to match your current sentiment. While it’s likely you’re used to this process, it definitely represents a speed bump in the way of super fast, hyper texters.
The SDK launched by Aniways is designed to allow application developers of the most popular messaging platforms today, to add another layer of more efficient and interactive emoticons. In effect, developers can offer their users a collection of hundreds and thousands of different emoticons, matching words, mood swings or other items they would like to use to express themselves during a chat session.
If for example you want to invite your friends for coffee, beer, sushi or even to spend a day at the beach, the company’s system will recognize the primary subject of relevance within the text and highlight it. You can then decide to click on the highlighted text and a menu of all the relevant emoticons for that particular text will appear for you to select from with a single click. Clicking on one of these pictures replace the specific text making for a seamless flow texters looking to jazz up the conversation.
On the technology side of the SDK, the system is able to recognize words, analyze their contexts within the text, identify keywords and serve up a sample set of fighting emoticons. In addition, the system is able to analyze and identify popular topics about users chatting and catching up in real time with appropriate emoticons.
The platform is an SaaS service so the emoticons do not sit on the user’s device but rather the company’s servers. This means that the platform is not only a fast but the database continues to be updated regularly with new emoticons, depending on the trends taken directly from the users themselves.
The company explains that implementation of the SDK requires the insertion of just a few lines of code. Of course the platform offers a profit model allowing for the sale of emoticons within the app itself and future plans include the ability to offer branded emoticons for specific companies and products.
What’s nice here is that instead of trying to force users to start using a new chat app, Aniways decided to appeal to existing applications and enrich the experience for existing users. The company has several collaborations with instant messaging applications and is in talks with others as they try and get their SDK into as many messaging platforms as possible.
Aniways was founded in February of 2013 by Yoav Degani, Ram Greenberg and Shai Ber. Degani explains that the SDK offers a profit for both sides – both for end users looking for new ways of interacting with their social contacts and for application developers seeking a profit model they can incorporate into their existing products.