Yik Yak Raises $10 Million to Grow Hyper-Local Social Networking
Investments Will Help Bring Privacy-Based App to More Communities Around the Globe
ATLANTA, Ga., June 30, 2014-- Yik Yak, the social messaging app for private, localized engagement, today announced it has secured a fresh $10 million in funding led by DCM and joined by Azure Capital Partners, Renren Inc. (NYSE: RENN), a leading social networking company in China, and venture capitalist Tim Draper. The Series A influx of capital will be used to build out infrastructure, hire new engineers, and bring the app to virtually all U.S. college campuses by the end of the year.
The funding will also enable international expansion of Yik Yak communities.
Founded in late 2013 by entrepreneurs Brooks Buffington and Tyler Droll, Yik Yak is the first app to connect localized users through its real-time social feed. Yik Yak's live stream-based format allows users to 'yak' with each other from any location at any given moment while retaining their privacy. The mobile app currently supports hundreds of communities across the U.S. and worldwide.
"We're seeing serious growth in our engagement rates -- indicating a significant demand for localized, private interactions among mobile users of college age and older," said Droll. "In order to continue scaling and advancing the Yik Yak experience, we need to build a bigger team. This new funding will allow us to do that."
"DCM strongly believes in the Yik Yak community," said David Chao, co-founder and general partner at DCM. "The growth and user engagement have been remarkable and we are confident that the value Yik Yak provides to the communities who use it will continue to grow and will scale globally."
"Yik Yak allows the truth to come out unfettered by identity," said Tim Draper, founder and managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. "Free speech without the backlash from the thought police. I expect this company to make a big impact on the world."
Yik Yak recently launched its new PEEK feature, allowing users to look in on what users have to say about current events or stay connected to their university/local communities no matter where they are. By leveraging Yik Yak's unique combination of localized content and anonymity, PEEK'ing ensures an organic, unfiltered feed of news and commentary coming from a specific location.
"Yik Yak's mission is to revolutionize the idea of a live stream and provide a forum that opens new opportunities for communication and interaction from any point in the U.S. and worldwide," said Buffington. "The evolution of social networks is moving toward a private, unfiltered communication model, and Yik Yak is at the center of this shift."
In addition, Yik Yak adds Alan Masarek, co-founder and former CEO of Quickoffice, and David Chao of DCM, to its board. Both Alan and David are remarkably talented and committed to building an innovative company around connecting local users in real-time.
Yik Yak has also received funding from Vaizra Investments, Atlanta Ventures and others during previous rounds.
The app is currently available for download on iOS and Android devices.
About Yik Yak
Yik Yak, Inc. is the first app that enables hyper-local communication on iOS and Android devices while retaining users' privacy. Meet friends, start a cause, share jokes, or deliver news to anyone within a common area. The fast-growing app is popular among college campuses and in areas where events worth sharing are occurring. The app enables any mobile user to deliver relevant, timely content to hyper-local areas of people, whether it is a funny sighting or emergency news.
DCM is an early stage venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley, Beijing and Tokyo with more than $2.5 billion under management. DCM has investments in more than 200 technology companies across the United States and Asia and provides hands-on operational guidance and a global network of business and financial resources. DCM has backed industry-leading consumer, social, and mobile related companies such as 51job, About.com, eDreams, Kabu.com, SoFi, Sling Media, Slice Technologies, and Wandoujia, as well as upcoming startups such as Crowdtilt, eTouch, Kakao, Life360, and Trusper. Recent successes (IPOs and M&As) include China-based 58.com, BitAuto, Dangdang, Luxin, Renren, Tuniu, and VIPshop; Japan-based Pokelabo (GREE) and StarFlyer and U.S.-based BASIS, Caring.com, Fortinet, PGP (Symantec), SandForce (LSI), and Sling Media.
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