Berlin startup Zoobe has raised a seven-digit euro figure to further develop its animated avatar messaging service and bring out a white-label service.
The two existing Zoobe apps, both released in 2012, turn personal voice recordings into free cute animated video messages using patented speech-recognition software. Talking rabbits are obviously not everyone’s thing but the production is professional; it’ll be interesting to see which clients show interest once the B2B technology solution is ready.
The closure of Zoobe’s first funding round brings together new investors Thomas Curran (former Deutsche Telekom CTO), Rayk Reitenbach, and Lars Dittrich with existing backers Christophe Maire (one of Berlin’s most influential angel investors), Karl-Heinz Brandenburg, Dario Suter, Jens de Gruyter, and Udo Schloemer (JMES Investments – a key investor in upcoming Berlin tech hub Factory). The company, founded by film director Lenard Krawinkel, employs 20 people in Berlin.
“Zoobe represents a novel approach to sending more emotive, bespoke messages that we feel offers something genuinely different in the current market,” Maire said in a statement. “Aside from the creativity on show in the native character design, we see enormous licensing potential for the future of mobile messaging.”
As well as a white-label offering for licence-holders, the new funds will be used to develop new 3D avatars for the consumer apps.