On Friday, an app you probably haven’t heard of unless you’re a teenager topped Facebook in the Apple App Store.
Houseparty, a group video chat app, ranked number 7 in Apple App Store for free apps — one slot above Facebook, the world’s most dominant social network.
And it’s not only the young kids who have noticed its Houseparty’s potential. Silicon Valley investors have been reportedly fighting over who gets to fund the newest craze in social.
On Friday, Business Insider confirmed that that the company had raised $50 million from leading venture firm Sequoia, beating out other investors interested in the deal, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the raise. The company’s previous investors, including Greylock Partners, Aleph, and Comcast Ventures participated in the round. Houseparty’s CEO Ben Rubin didn’t return a request for comment.
The app has been on fire with teens recently, leading to a surge of millions of downloads in the last six months, according to analytics from Apptopia. The app analytics company estimates that nearly 2 million people used it in the last month alone, and that on average, people are opening it 5.5 times a day.
In schools in San Francisco, it’s become the new go-to video app to chat with friends. Like Facetime or Skype, it allows video calls with friends as a group.
Yet, few realise the app’s turbulent history. Houseparty was made by the creator’s of another hit video app Meerkat. The live-streaming app exploded in popularity at SXSW, then faded after Twitter blocked its access and purchased its rival, Periscope. The company regrouped and launched Houseparty earlier this year, which has grown in popularity since the beginning of the school year.
The key for Houseparty is to not loose that momentum like Meerkat did. A fresh $50 million from a leading Valley venture firm will hopefully stave off the same fate for the company.