Curated caricature avatar design service Siyanhui, the first project graduated from 3wcoffee’s Next Big incubator, secured angel investment from ZhenFund and Innovation Angel Funds, and moved to Shanghai (report in Chinese).
Siyanhui is the Chinese translation of a Japanese term which refers to a painted caricature that shows the features of its subject in an oversimplified or exaggerated way.
The company’s service is mainly offered via its subscription account (biaoqingmm) on WeChat platform, where users can select a service package and make payments via Alipay. The users will receive hand painted, rather computer generated, custom emoticons in five to seven working days after sending photos to Siyanhui through WeChat chatting windows. Additionally, the company also provides peripheral products, such as photo frames and cups painted with their rendered images.
The firm rolled out custom service packages for celebrities with price tags of 9,999 yuan ($1,634) for static emoticons and 19,999 yuan for dynamic ones.
It is the company’s commitment for 100% freehand sketching that impressed the investors. Wang Sheng, manager of Innovation Angel, said only hand painting can ensure the individuality of custom caricatures. It is also this feature which differentiates it from MomentCam, a photo-editing app recorded viral spread recently. Siyanhui crowdsources the business to professional artists.
The company is trying to explore domestic market after established presence in overseas, especially Japanese market, according to Ding Yan, founder of the company.