This article originally appeared on VICE New Zealand.
When the Sapphire Apps co-founders walk into a Hollywood boardroom, they always get a double take from the executives they shake hands with. At ages 23 and 25, these millennials are the youngest people in the room.
"We're two kids," said Anish Dalal, who co-founded the company last year with Thomas Ma. "My business partner looks like he is 12 and I look like I'm 16. It's overwhelming but it's been great once we get past the barriers."
Dalal and Ma have made a business out of turning celebrities into emojis, those fun virtual stickers you sprinkle into your iMessages. The Chicago-based company with a staff of eight kicked off last year. While they are yet to be profitable, they hope to become a mainstay in the world of emoji apps.
As part of Sapphire's quest to turn every celebrity with a social media following into a virtual sticker, the company in May will roll out a Lindsay Lohan emoji app. They've already made their name with Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman and DJ DEORRO & Panda Funk. Conversations are also ongoing with Bart Baker, a YouTuber with nearly nine million subscribers.
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