School Gossip App Yik Yak Grabs USD 10M from DCM & Others

Atlanta-based an anonymous local messaging app, Yik Yak has raised USD 10 million in Series A from DCM with participation from Azure Capital Partners, Renren Inc. and Tim Draper. Earlier, It had received USD 1.5 million in seed investment. Till date, including this round, the company had secured a total funding of USD 11.5 million.

It aims to utilize the raised funds for international expansion, future development as well as expand the employee base. Post this investment, Alan Masarek, co-founder and former CEO of Quickoffice, and David Chao of DCM, will join Yik Yak’s board of directors.

Recently, the company had also launched PEEK, a features that enables users to updates in their local universities or communities to stay connected and to access conversations.

Yik Yak was launched in 2013 by Co-Founders Will Jamieson, Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington.

It allows anyone to connect and share information with others like News, funny experiences, shout outs, and jokes spread faster than ever through Yik Yak’s tight-knit community. It is a way for college students to find out about what’s happening on their campus and is available for iOS and Android.

Co-Founder Buffington said Yik Yak is about local communities being able to come together and share what’s going on, such as events, current events, and so on. He said that a lot of college campus groups use it to spread the word about events, kind of like a “college Twitter feed,” but in anonymity. He sees Secret’s “Dens” feature, which allows people to create a sort of private anonymous chat room for colleagues or friends for example, as the closest competitor to Yik Yak despite there being other “anonymous messaging” apps around.

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“College kids really love our app because you have so many people in such a dense area that are going through the same experiences,” he added.

 
 
Venture Beat says: Apparently, high school students also “really loved” the app too. You might remember Yik Yak as the app at the center of a New York Magazine article about a Connecticut high school brought to a halt because students were cyberbullying their peers on the app. In short, students at a couple of schools used the freedom of anonymity to post vicious comments about each other, and the bullying became so severe that the school’s administration attempted to ban the app from campus.

The result: Yik Yak has now geofenced middle schools and high schools out of its app, making it unavailable within the boundaries of a school.

“They didn’t have the maturity… They’re just not psychologically developed enough to handle our app,” said Buffington.

“We didn’t approve of the way that they were using it. They weren’t using it for what we built it for,” he said.

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