Dubsmash

Hit Video Messaging App Dubsmash Raises $5.5 Million Led by Index Ventures

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Dubsmash, a roughly two-year-old, 15-person, Berlin-based startup whose video messaging app lets users create and share dubbed “selfie” videos (you choose a famous audio clip, then record yourself lip-syncing the words or lyrics), has just raised $5.5 million in Series A funding.

Index Ventures led the round, with firm cofounder Danny Rimer joining the company’s board. Other investors to join the round include Lowercase Capital, ENIAC Ventures, Sunstone Capital, Raine Ventures and King Digital Entertainment CEO Riccardo Zacconi.

Actress Olivia Munn recently used the app to hilarious effect. (Her boyfriend, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, got in on the act, too.) A growing number of celebrities have also discovered it, including Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lopez and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Worth noting: according to Dubsmash cofounder Roland Grenke, the company hasn’t approached any of them — they’re finding it on their own (along with a lot of college students, we hear).

We’d first covered Dubsmash — available on both the Apple iOS and Android — earlier this year. Since then, it has reached the number one spot on Apple’s App Store in 78 countries and the top 10 in 118 countries, it says, though its popularity in the U.S. seems to have dropped a bit in recent months. (This according to App Annie data. See below.)

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Asked about the genesis of Dubsmash, Grenke tells us it’s the team’s third attempt at an app since starting the company in mid-2013 after the three founders met at a Berlin-based hackathon. Their last effort before Dubsmash was Starlize, an app that let users create personal music videos but was too complicated, says Grenke.

As for a business plan, Grenke tells us Dubsmash sees “multiple opportunities for monetization in the future, but [we] believe that it’s too early to focus on them right now. Instead, we’re 100 percent focused on the user as we work on user engagement and retention.”

Grenke tells us he doesn’t see Dubsmash giving birth to numerous other, related apps, by the way. Rather, the company hopes to transform it into a meatier communication platform and “stick with one app.”

You can check out Munn and Rodgers having fun with it by covering Mariah Carey. And Sarah McLachlan. And Boyz II Men.