Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Audio App Seeking $4B In Funding

Clubhouse, the buzzy audio-based social network, is in talks to raise funding from investors in a round valuing the business at about US$4 billion, according to Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter.

A deal at that price would quadruple its value from January and would reflect the astronomical expectations investors have for the app. Clubhouse is barely a year old but has drawn appearances from some of the biggest names in business and Hollywood and inspired copycats from several of the world’s biggest social networks.

It is unclear how much Clubhouse is seeking to raise or which investors are participating. Terms of the round could still change, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. A spokeswoman for Clubhouse did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Paul Davison and Rohan Seth started Alpha Exploration Co, the start-up behind Clubhouse. The app lets users host their own online radio shows. Listeners can tune in to hear interviews or panel discussions and ask to participate in live chats.

Andreessen Horowitz has been a major booster of the app. It initially valued the parent company at US$100 million before the investment in January at 10 times that valuation. 

Competitors quickly went to work on their own versions of Clubhouse. Twitter Inc introduced one called Spaces. Facebook Inc is exploring one, too. Microsoft Corp’s LinkedIn and Slack Technologies Inc have also said they are working on similar features for their networks.

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