#USA How Giphy got its start: The 2 guys behind the great GIF search engine

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Leibsohn

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One afternoon in December, Giphy’s two dozen staff members gathered around a long picnic table in their Lower East Side Manhattan office for a year-in-review meeting. The multicolored Christmas lights and six packs of Shiner Bock in the spacious, ninth-floor room made for a festive vibe — as did the 3D poster of a cat dangling from a wine bottle. Alex Chung, the 40-year-old co-founder and chief executive officer, stood next to a whiteboard, scrawling numbers charting the company’s growth. “We’re the biggest Internet startup people are seeing right now,” he said. “We, like, did it.”

Giphy — that’s a hard “G” — really, like, did do it. It’s become the go-to library for GIFs, the seconds-long, looping video clips that people text when words are too hard to conjure or quick shots of a shivering Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant just better convey how cold you are; the startup reached 95 million unique visitors per month in 2015, quadruple what it did in 2014. And Giphy has become an adviser to movie studios and TV producers who want your texts to include their content, which they are turning over to editors to splice into a million little pieces. Advertisers and political campaigns are asking for advice, too, on using the technology to sell products and candidates. Read more…

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