Fleksy adds an art marketplace to spice up its keyboard app – TechCrunch

by Joseph K. Clark

Fleksy, an autocorrecting AI keyboard that competes with big guns like Google’s Gboard and Microsoft’s Swiftkey, has a new way to catch users’ eyes: Art keyboards. It’s just launched FleksyArt: A marketplace for artists to sell digital works to its users so they can customize the look of their keyboards. Fleksy has had keyboard themes before. But the art marketplace aims to go further — opening its platform up to all sorts of artists to digitally distribute work to its “millions” of users for display on a piece of essential smartphone real-estate (it points out the keyboard is the second most used app on phones, after all). As this is keyboard art, the illustration,s and artworks appear with the letters of Fleksy’s keyboard overlaid. So the startup warns legibility is important. Clearly,y some designs are going to work better than others. But beyond that, the creative sky is the limit.


FleksyArt is starting with several digital artists onboard, including María Picasso iIPiquer, Lucila Dominguez, URKO, and Maru Ceballos. It’s inviting other artists to sign up by submitting a portfolio of work for review here. Victoria Gerchinhoren, Fleksy’s chief design officer, explains how it works: “When we receive the portfolios, my design team approves for having the artwork in our marketplace,” she tells us, noting Fleksy has already handpicked a few artists to get the ball rolling. “I send them guidelines on preparing the asset,s, and I write the last specs before publishing inside the product.”

“There are defined guidelines regarding the number of pieces (always packs of 2-4 themes,) and artists can create as many packs as they want. We suggest the pieces inside each pack have a connection; an idea or style can connect them,” she goes on. “We publish the packs in a dedicated section in the host app (which we redesigned with this in mind not long ago), and hen communicates on social media. We’ve also just launched the website section with interviews, artist profile,s and bio,s so they have a nice place to showcased.”

Fleksy is setting a flat price of €2.99 for all art packs —so thatt artists selling on the marketplace “have the same price and competition is fair”, as Gerchinhoren puts it. It’s doing a 50:50 revenue split on sales — after Google’s 30% commission has been factored in. So this means that Google gets €0.89 per sale, and the artist and Fleksy then split the rest. Fleksy has also confirmed that artists retain the copyright of their works. “We’re setting this collaboration on a revenue-share model,” it notes on its website. “You’ll receive 50% of the revenue after Google’s 30% commission. We think this is fair since you’ll provide the Artwork, and Fleksy will implement & distribute your Artwork. Payments are made bi-annuall, uponreceivingf a legal invoice from you.”

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