The hyper-local messaging app for college students Yik Yak raised a $1.5 million Seed Round from Vaizra Investments, DCM, Azure Capital Partners and several other angels.
The funding comes on the heels of a cyberbullying scandal which made headlines across the USA, but was also handled in a proactive way by the Yik Yak founders.
Originally developed for college and university students, Yik Yak became very popular among middle and high school students. As the app was linked to bullying among students but also bomb threats that put schools into lockdown, Yik Yak reacted swiftly and used so called geo fencing to prevent younger students from using the app on school grounds. You can read more about these issues and how Yik Yak handled them in our editorial linked below.
Though artificially limiting the growth of the userbase at an early stage is usually seen as problematic, the geofencing did not have an effect of Yik Yak’s growth according to TechCrunch. It also had a positive effect on the number of cyberbullying cases Yik Yak has to handle.
In the press release Yik Yak is also pointing out the positive impact the app had among college communities.
“Recently, students on a Southern university campus used Yik Yak to raise money for a fellow student undergoing treatment for cancer. While other local users did not personally know this student, Yik Yak created the forum for increased awareness and support among like-minded peers.”
The community also starts to police itself through the included voting and reporting mechanisms.
The funding will be used to expand the team which currently consists of the two founders, Brooks Buffington and Tyler Droll as well as product development and to fuel user growth and expansion both in the US and overseas.
- Hyper-Local Social Messaging App Yik Yak Raises $1.5 Million in Funding | Press Release
- After Cyberbullying Scandal, Anonymous Social App Yik Yak Raises $1.5 Million | TechCrunch
- Yik Yak, Geofencing and the Future of BYOD | EDUKWEST