Extensive use of social media maybe just a part of being a teenager; however, using it safely is also of utmost importance. In a recent development, Paris-based Yubo, an online social platform aims to provide young users with a place to hang out and be themselves. It has raised $47.5M (approx €39.9M) in its Series C round of funding led by existing investors Idinvest, Iris Capital, Alven, and Sweet Capital, as well as Gaia Capital Partners.
As a part of the round, Jerry Murdock, co-founder of Insight Partners (investors in Twitter, Snapchat, TrueCaller), will also become an independent member of the Yubo board.
The latest raised capital will be used to support further product development of the platform and strengthen its place as the leading social space for “generation Z” to socialise online.
Founded in 2015 by Arthur Patora, Jeremie Aouate, and Sacha Lazimi, Yubo is dedicated to creating a safe social space for young people, inspired by the best of offline interactions and powered by online possibilities.
According to the company, it is designed to renew the concept of social media, which is currently being fuelled by likes or followers. Yubo wants to provide young users with a place to hang out and be themselves without any pressure to perform.
Yubo lets users create live video discussion spaces where both streamers and viewers interact through a live chat. It claims to use the latest technology and tools specifically designed to protect the app users, to provide a secure discussion platform built to widen their circle of friends.
The social network favours sociability, sharing, and authenticity rather than the approval mechanisms and influencers systems of traditional social networks.
Francois Meteyer, Partner at Alven, says, “Socialising has always been a major human need. Compared to previous generations’ closed social circles, Yubo breaks physical barriers and opens to its millions of daily active Gen Z users a digital exploratory window on the world and themselves – all the more relevant in the current time when life from home is paroxysmal.”
Ambitions after a year of exponential growth
Since its inception, Yubo has grown exponentially in key markets, including the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, and France. This year itself, the time spent in live streams increased by 400%, as 100,000 live streams are launched every day, claims the company. The platform attracted over 40 million young people worldwide.
With this, the company aims to expand its community in Southeast Asia, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. Yubo also plans to open offices in every key region, in particular strengthening its presence in the US with offices in New York, to further support its largest user base.
Following a successful year in 2019, Yubo expects to end the current year with a revenue of $20M, doubling its turnover from last year. To support and accelerate the development of the platform, Yubo plans to multiply its workforce by 10, including its safety team globally.
Yubo will further use the capital to develop its app’s live streaming capabilities, adding new features in order to diversify the ways in which Yubo users can interact.
With this development, the company seeks to enrich the user experience with more content via YouTube integration, new activities, and games. Besides, Yubo is also partnering with Snap Inc. to integrate a camera kit, bringing Snapchat’s camera and AR lenses to its platform.
And finally, Yubo will develop unique recommendation algorithms to personalise its users’ experience based on their interests, social interactions, and activities on the app.
Besides, it also looks to establish additional regional helplines across every active country, in more than 36 languages, to enhance the platform’s capabilities in supporting the safety of its users. It will continue increasing its in-app support and prevention capabilities with educational tools and key partnerships with NGOs.
In December 2019, Yubo had raised $12.3M (approx €10.3M) in funding led by Iris Capital and Idinvest Partners, alongside historical investor Alven, Sweet Capital, and Village Global.
Prior to that in June 2018, the company had raised $5M (approx €4.2M) in its Series A round of funding from Alven.
In February 2016, the company had raised its Seed round funding of €2M (approx €1.6M) from Alven, NUMA, and an angel investor Eduardo Ronzano.
With the latest funding round, the company has raised a total of over $60M (approx €50.4M), to date.
Image credit: Yubo