If you don’t already have Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” stuck in your head this morning, prepare to have your mind penetrated and violated. Photo collage-making app PicCollage announced Wednesday that it has raised $2.3 million in seed funding and it’s launching a new branded content campaign with Interscope Records, which will allow users to download customized sticker packs for featured artists, like Robin Thicke. Also known as #Thicke, or Jason Seaver Jr. Hey, hey, hey. (Hey, hey, hey.)
The seed investors include quite a few heavyweights, including 500 Startups, Floodgate Fund, Freestyle Capital, Quest Venture Partners, Sand Hill Angels, XG Ventures, ngmoco founder Neil Young, and N3TWORK founder Bob Stevenson.
Headquartered in San Francisco with a branch in Taipei, Taiwan, PicCollage allows users to import photos from their photo library, Facebook albums, and the Web to create cute little collages. The app utilizes intuitive gestures to allow users to resize, rotate, edit, delete, and clip photos, as well as add text, stickers, and backgrounds.
"PicCollage is establishing an engaged community within a huge demographic that is hungry to express themselves creatively,” said Floodgate’s Ann Miura-Ko, in a statement. “This is an exciting opportunity as brands are eager to connect with these mobile users.”
The app has surpassed 35 million downloads to date, making it a Top 10 photo app for iPad and iPhone. It has proven to be a big hit with young women in the US, UK, and Japan. PicCollage makes money by selling virtual sticker packs as in-app purchases, or working with brands to do sponsored sticker packs that are free for users and paid for by brands that want to engage the user base.
With the new branded content campaign, users will be able to create collages with props and images from Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” video. (Just try not to get too bogged down in the video’s rapey-ness and the problematics of presumed consent. It’ll bum you out.)
"I don’t always imagine myself in a hyper-sexual Robin Thicke music video, but when I do, I use PicCollage to express myself. Stay creative, my friends,” said Dave McClure, in a statement.
He knows he wants it:
Hey, Robin Thicke: George Michael called. He wants his look back. (I'm just ashamed for liking this song so much. Where do I turn in my feminist badge?)
PicCollage is competing with dozens of other collage-making apps, including InstaCollage, InstaFrame, CollageShaper, and more.
Every day, 500 million pics are shared online, and that’s expected to increase by 2X over the next year, according to Mary Meeker. Earlier this summer, Instagram revealed that some 130 million people are currently using the platform, which is up from 20 million when it was acquired by Facebook last year. And to date, over 16 billion images have been shared.
Users share five times as many photos on Snapchat as they do on Instagram.
"PicCollage is popular because of its ease of use and default to a free-form experience. Other collage apps have more of a focus on frame-based collages. User experience is always the first priority for PicCollage," said a PicCollage co-founder Ching-Mei Chen.