An animation startup betting on the death of GIFs raises $4 million
- LottieLab is developing software for the lottie file type, which it claims will replace GIFs in animation.
- Founded in 2021, the startup hopes to make it easier to create lottery animations for everyone.
- Check out the 12-slide pitch deck the startup used to raise $4 million.
A startup betting on the death of GIFs just raised $4 million for its animation software.
London-based LottieLab develops software for creating, collaborating and managing lottie file types, which it says will be the next generation of GIFs.
GIFs can be a popular way to react to friends over text, but they don’t suit the design world, LottieLab co-founder Andrew Ologunebi told Insider.
The file type takes up a lot of space on apps, which means longer load times, and can’t be exported as code, Ologunebi said. They must be built-in rather than hard-coded into the software, which means they are not easily manipulated to respond to user data.
“When you have a GIF or video already rendered, you can’t change how it works,” Ologunebi said. “It’s exactly what it will always look like. With coded animations, you can actually make it react to user interactions.”
The Duolingo language learning platform makes extensive use of lotteries, for example its mascot background changes depending on the user’s location.
“If a user is from Paris, you have the Eiffel Tower in the background,” Ologunebi said. “If it comes from New York, it would be the Brooklyn Bridge. San Francisco will be the Golden Gate Bridge.” These animations “respond live” to user data, which is why different animations appear, Ologunebi added.
Lottie files are already used by Instacart, Disney and Headspace but they are not built on specialized software, Ologunebi said. Most Lottie animations are created on Adobe After Effects, he added, and it requires “a series of plugins and open source tools” and gets complicated.
LottieLab, founded in 2021, is a browser-based animation platform for non-technical designers, developers, and marketers to create, manage, and deploy Lottie animations.
The platform allows users to export files as code, which increases performance and interactivity, the company said, or embed live links into the software. In the latter case, the animation can be centrally edited and automatically updated across all websites and apps.
Ologunebi built LottieLab with co-founder Alistair Thomson to make it as easy to use as possible. The software “falls back to frame-by-frame animations”, allowing users to create a timeline of keyframes, with the software automatically animating the transition. To create motion paths, where animations move across the screen, the user can also simply click and drag.
LottieLab is currently in private beta mode but expects to be in public beta by the end of the year. It plans to operate a SaaS model, with different levels depending on the number of users and production.
The new round, led by early-stage European investor Point Nine, will be used to triple the workforce over the next year and grow the product. 20VC and podcaster Harry Stebbings’ Entrepreneur First also took part in the round.
Check out the 12-slide pitch deck LottieLab used to raise funds.