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February 12, 2019

Emoji marketing startup Inmoji raises another $1.5M

Emojis not just a fun way to avoid writing actual words, but also an opportunity for?

Well, Inmoji, a startupthat createsemoji-focused marketing campaigns, is announcing that it has raised an additional $1.5 million, bringing its total funding to $9 million. This comes a week after announcing aself-serve platformthat should make these emoji campaignsaccessible to a broaderrange of businesses.

CEO Michael Africk said that over the past few years, hes seen a gold rush of other companies moving into branded emojis. (In fact, the social media platforms have started todo something similar themselves.)

The difference, he said, is that Inmoji is actually collaboratingwith marketers to figure out what theyre trying to accomplish and how to achieve those goals through interactive emojis. So a movie studio could run a campaignwherepotential moviegoers could tap on an emoji, revealing a trailer and local showtimes. Or a coffee chains emoji could open up into a map of nearby stores.

These are really media units, said COO Perry Tell (who co-founded Inmoji with Africk). This is not just a piece of licensed content these are new forms of advertising media.

Tell and Africk noted that this interactivity also allows Inmoji to track whether the campaign is actually leading to the desired user behavior. In fact, the company says its campaigns have an engagement rate of 100 percent (which seems impossible until you realize that a user can interact with an emojimore than once).

Inmoji comesembeddedwithsome messaging services, including Oovoo and Badoo, and it can also be added to Apples iMessage through a user download. Advertisers thathave run Inmoji campaigns include Starbucks, Interscope and Disney.

Until now, those advertisers have worked directly with the Inmoji team to create those campaigns. Now businesses can use the platform themselves through a self-serve model Tell said this should help Inmoji reach alot ofsmall businesses that donthave seven-figure, six-figure advertising budgets, but as well aslarger brandsthat already have a clear strategyand dont need any handholding.

As for the new funding, it comes fromJohn Wigneswaran (who previously invested) and a group from MITs Sloan business school.

Originally published at: https://techcrunch.com