The video-chat-positioned app, Faceu, announced last week it had secured tens of millions of dollars in Series B financing led by Meitu, China’s leading photo app developer. Guo Lie, founder of Faceu, said the fund will be used mainly for product R&D.
If you haven’t heard of Faceu, then the iMadeFace-like avatar maker FaceQ might ring a bell. The app that went viral two years ago allows people to create a “moe” version of themselves and share it with friends. People love it.
“There is a craze right now for ‘moe culture’–the excitement for the adorably cute. This demand in my view is insatiable in Asia, and China is no exception,” Guo told AllChinaTech. “This is our edge over competitors abroad–our team knows Chinese users better.”
But the popularity of the FaceQ app was written in water. “When we made FaceQ, we didn’t really consider how long it would last,” said Guo, who once worked for Tencent E-commerce Holding Company. “Our goal was to make a number one app, and FaceQ did help us in that respect.”
As the fame around FaceQ faded, the team began development on another product. The result is Faceu, a video-chat-positioned app based on moe culture that topped the app store’s rankings again. It now has over 25 million users, 80% of whom are from the post-90s generation.
According to Guo, Faceu is expected to develop from a tool app to a social app. By providing more moe stickers, they plan to attract more users and retain them. In other words, this camera app aims to transition into an IM service followed by SNS.
Faceu is especially popular with a younger female audience. It allows fans to edit their photos and short videos with stickers in real-time, and also features a collection of Instagram-like filters.
“WeChat is becoming bloated where you’ve added so many friends that you need to think twice before posting something,” said Guo. “Our product gives the young more freedom to share what they like with whom they prefer. Besides, I believe that the future is in instant video chat.”
(Top photo screened from Baidu.com)