Text puppy GIFs with just one tap

riffsy app

Move over emojis. You've been one-upped.

Texters can now send animated GIFs in one tap, thanks to Riffsy.

The startup, co-founded by David McIntosh, is doing for GIFs what Emoji did for emoticons. The free app is available on any iPhone or iPad with iOS 8 -- all users need is to download and install the keyboard.

Users can browse themed GIFs -- like #blushing, #cats, #YOLO -- or add "favorites" for easy access. The "riffsys" -- which can also contain audio -- can be shared via text, email or messaging services like Whatsapp, Facebook (FB) or Twitter (TWTR). Plus, there's a Riffsy creator app that lets users create and share original GIFs. (McIntosh said users will eventually be able to create their own GIFs within the Riffsy app itself.)

Riffsy "ties into the broader trend of communication becoming more visual," said McIntosh , 27.

Related: Emojis are getting racially diverse

The San Francisco-based company, which launched in September, announced on Tuesday that it raised $3.5 million in seed funding from Redpoint Ventures (which is also an investor in anonymous sharing app Secret), Initial Capital and John Riccitiello.

"Riffsy is already changing how people express themselves," said Redpoint Ventures' partner Chris Moore in a press release.

Indeed, the app saw 1 million downloads in the first three weeks of launching -- and users are sharing an average of five GIFs a day (from the app's library of millions).

McIntosh previously founded Redux, a video discovery startup that was acquired earlier this year by anime streaming site Crunchyroll. He said the 10-person Riffsy team is "hyper"-focused on growth right now, but when partnership opportunities have come up, they've jumped on them.

McIntosh said that these deals with ad agencies and content providers can be lucrative -- five- to six-figure deals for sponsored GIFs on the keyboard. With more than 500 million monthly GIF views, he said advertisers are eager to partner with the startup.

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