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A Google for GIFs? How Giphy plans to turn GIFs into big business

Giphy is a revenue-less three-year-old start-up, gets 150 million unique monthly visitors on its site, and all it does is curate and allow users to search for GIFs. So why is it worth $300 million?

A graphics interchange format or GIF, is a file type that allows very short moving images. It was invented 29 years ago but has taken off in recent times and is often used for comedic effect in messaging apps.

New York-based Giphy is able to create GIFs and host them on a searchable database on its site and has also integrated with the likes of messaging app Slack and social media platforms Facebook and Twitter.

Earlier this year, the company raised $55 million, reportedly valuing it at $300 million, perhaps surprisingly high for a company not making any money. So how is it planning to monetize?

To understand this, you have to understand the potential of this business model, according to one of the founders.

"The whole premise underneath all these products - the web, all the integrations we do, apps we power, the messaging services we enhance - it's all a search experience. And what we deliver in...