Listen-in social network Clubhouse readies for the masses
Agence France-Presse / 03:23 PM January 26, 2021
Invite-only audio social network Clubhouse is readying to let in the masses with the help of a fresh funding round reported to value it at nearly a billion dollars.
Clubhouse has gained allure since its release early last year in a private testing format, putting a podcast spin on social networking by letting members listen in on conversations taking place in online “rooms” and chime in with comments if they wish.
“Our focus now is on opening up Clubhouse to the whole world,” Clubhouse founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth said in an online post Sunday.
“With that goal in mind for 2021, we have secured a new round in funding.”
The amount of cash prestigious Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is putting into Clubhouse was not disclosed, but the valuation was reported to be about a billion dollars.
Clubhouse has grown from a single “room” where the founders could usually be found for conversations to being used by nearly two million people weekly, according to Andrew Chen of a16z, who joined the startup’s board of directors as part of the deal.
“The initial trial users started inviting more people and the Clubhouse community swiftly encompassed a burgeoning and diverse set of people and conversations,” Chen said in an online post.
“Groups quickly began to form around hobbies, cultures, careers, and curiosities.”
He contrasted the conversational, audio-only format at Clubhouse with social networks that require users to focus attention on display screens.