Flipagram, a photo, video and music sharing app has raised $70 million in a Series B funding round led by Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Index Ventures. Further to the funding, Michael Moritz, chairman of Sequoia and John Doerr, general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers have joined the startup’s board of directors.
Flipagram Inc., is a startup that allows people create and share photo slide shows set to music and has more than 30 million regular users. The startup’s technology allows the users weave images, music and video into moving stories of their lives. Apart from liking and commenting on the posts, it also allows the users to share the video to different networks which includes music too.
In just a year’s time, Flipagram already has 33 million monthly active users. CEO Farhad Mohit claims, “Flipagram is in a unique position to bring artists into the fold because the service doesn’t cannibalize music sales at all,” a fact that has permitted Mohit to get licensing deals with big players like Universal, Sony , Warner and publishing giants like BMG.
With the help of National Music Publishers Association, the startup has made a licensing agreement available to its independent music publisher members. These deals give Flipagram’s users access to millions of short music clips to use in their Flipagram. The app also includes a link to buy on iTunes. The users can also select 30-second portions of any song from the catalog and use them for free. This is a draw card used by the company to fight against big competitors like Snapchat and Instagram.
“It looked to us like a monster,” Doerr said in an interview. “On the order of an Instagram.” “It’s an incredibly beguiling proposition to match photos and videos with favorite bits of music,” said Michael Moritz, a partner at Sequoia. “We have always paid close attention to how users are voting. That’s how Google grew in the early years as well as Twitter and Snapchat.”
With the bag full of cash and full backing of music industry power players, it will be interesting to see if Flipagram can go from an Instagram too to a full-fledged competitor.