Payments company Square has acquired the engineering team behind Yik Yak for less than $US3 million, according to a new report form Bloomberg, citing sources.
The anonymous chat app used to be valued at $US4oo million after raising more than $US73 million in venture capital. At its prime, Yik Yak was considered the darling of the anonymous messaging space, having attracted a young user base of college students that would compulsively open the app multiple times a day to stay informed.
Now, less than three years after it launched and skyrocketed to its $US400 million valuation, Square has acquired Yik Yak’s engineering team, leaving the fate of the app unknown. As part of the deal, Bloomberg reports that between five and ten engineers will join Square’s teams in Atlanta. Rumours of the impending sale were first reported by The Verge.
Square declined to comment. Yik Yak didn’t return request for comment.
Founded in 2013, Yik Yak at first grew rapidly as high schoolers and college students latched onto the anonymous messaging app. However, the company faced problems with harassment and bullying in the app and never quite found a good way to combat it. Last August, it made a move to do away with anonymous and add real profiles, but it never took off in the same way again. Yik Yak laid off 60% of its team at the end of 2016, and has reportedly now divested itself of its engineering team as it circles the drain.
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