You might think it would be tough for a messaging newcomer to break into the ranks of Whatsapp, Viber, WeChat, and all the other competitors. But cross-platform messaging app Jongla has had no problem raising money, today announcing a €3.4 million round, bringing their total funding to €7.3 million. Investors in this newest round include JSH Capital Oy, Ingman Finance Oy, Kontino Invest Oy and Holdington Ltd Oy.
Jongla has been on a path to differentiate themselves from their competitors by mixing in features like interactive stickers, push-to-talk messaging, photo & video sharing, YouTube integration and lots more. You’ll find features like this across a few platforms, but the company seems to be fighting to be innovative to better hit their teen audience.
And while their competitors, like Whatsapp, seem to have no monetization features, Jongla last month added in “channels” which allow fans to interact with celebrities and brands in real time. So far they’ve launched with a few brands like Microsoft.
With the funding the company is focused on scaling up their solution across new markets, and adding people to their Helsinki headquarters.
One thing missing from their press release was any mention of traction and users, but it seems unlikely Jongla would be able to raise so much money without an inkling of a growing userbase in this crowded market. In their press release, Riku Salminen, CEO, Jongla comments, “The latest funding round will allow us to continue to develop and extend our cross-platform social messaging service as a platform and firmly place ourselves as a preferred choice in a number of key markets around the world.”
When I first heard of Jongla I had my doubts that a latecomer would be able to break into this market, but €7.3 million is no small amount of funding. Finns were the inventors of IRC, so maybe it’s in their DNA to make another great chat app.