Dubsmash syncs €9 million Series B

Dubsmash, the lip-syncing video app from Berlin that became a surprise social hit last year, has raised Series B funding.

According to multiple sources — and now confirmed by the company — Sunstone Capital has led a €9 million (~$9.6m) round with participation from Index Ventures, Balderton Capital, Eniac Venture, and Lowercase Capital.

Noteworthy is that Index led Dubsmash’s $5.5 million million Series A announced in August 2015, but hasn’t done so this time around.

I’ve also learned that, as part of the new funding and in a bid to help scale, Dubsmash has undergone a restructuring that saw the startup lay off 7 employees — roughly 20 per cent of its workforce across all areas of the company — although it continues to hire.

It follows co-founder Roland Grenke’s departure in June. He remains an active shareholder.

“In an effort to streamline processes and scale our growth with this new capital, we restructured the organization for growth. Unfortunately, in this process, we had to let 7 employees go which was an extremely difficult decision to make,” the company tells me.

“We believe that with this new structure, we scale our company to greater heights. Our organization currently has 27 employees and we’re currently hiring in engineering, product, content and more”.

Meanwhile, despite increased competition in the consumer video sharing space, including from heavily-backed music video creation app Musical.ly, Dubsmash continues to grow at a clip.

I’m told it’s seeing about a million new users added every five days (though it’s not clear how many are active and return each month) and has now surpassed 140 million downloads, double compared to the same time last year.

The startup also appears to be further along the path to monetisation. It recently let brands sponsor a new feature called Community Moments, a curated collection of videos created by the broader Dubsmash community around a particular topic or movie.

Warner Bros. was the first brand to jump onboard to promote its 3D-animated film Storks by inviting users to lip-sync along to snippets from the movie.