Venture capital firm Balderton Capital has contributed $10.7 million (£7.1 million) to a $13.4 million investment round into Urturn.
London, Lausanne and Silicon Valley-based Urturn allows users to look through ready-made templates to choose an ‘expression’ for their mood. The ‘Your Turn’ button then allows users to share new interpretations of other people’s posts.
Urturn’s Bookmarklet can grab images from across the web and ‘instantly’ turn them into expressions.
To coincide with the investment, Urturn has also launched its mobile application and will be hoping to utilise celebrity endorsements from the likes of David Bowie, Ellie Goulding and Carly Rae Jepsen.
Joining the investment round alongside Balderton Capital is the private equity arm of Debiopharm group, which is providing the remaining $2.7 million.
Stelio Tzonis, CEO of Urturn, says that existing social platforms are focused on connecting people, while Urturn addresses the issue of how people interact.
He adds, ‘We believe our mobile app will make Urturn more accessible and enable people to share Expressions more spontaneously.
‘We’re honoured to have the support of Balderton Capital. As well as being one of the preeminent VCs in Europe, they have a track record in taking European start-ups to the US.’
More on investments by Balderton Capital:
- Balderton takes a shine to Rentify
- Wonga investor backs archify with seed with seed funding
- Livebookings gets its teeth into new £15 million VC round
Tzonis launched the company in January 2013 alongside his brother, Alexandre Tzonis, and fellow founders Mathieu Fivaz and Vincent Borel.
The Urturn platform is fully integrated, meaning that users can take media from Facebook, Instagram or Vimeo feeds. Musicians including Alicia Keys and Green Day have signed up to the service to communicate to fans.
Barry Maloney, founding partner at Balderton Capital, adds, ‘When we first met the team behind Urturn, we could see their idea would transform the way people around the world express themselves through social media and we wanted to be involved.
‘We are excited to watch the progress and continued word-of-mouth endorsements that have earned Stelio and his team the support of many loyal users already.’
As part of the deal, Balderton’s Moloney will be joining the board of Urturn.