David Dobrik’s photo sharing app Dispo raises $20 million at $200 million valuation

YouTube and TikTok star David Dobrik’s photo sharing app Dispo has raised $20 million at a $200 million valuation, following talks with Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, and Benchmark. The Series A funding round was led by Spark Capital. 

Dispo released an invite-only beta version a couple of weeks ago and hit TestFlight’s 10,000 user limit over the weekend following thousands of downloads in Japan.  

Dispo is designed to mimic disposable camera experience and it produces retro photos. What makes it different from the other photo sharing apps is that there are no captions or editing tools and users should wait 24 hours for photos to “develop”. Users can’t see photos before they are “developed” and the only option in the app is to turn the flash on and off. 

Users can like, share, or comment on photos and use “Rolls” feature (like a roll of film) to share public albums. Multiple people can take photos on the same roll, as it happens with a real disposable camera at an event.

“When I used to go to parties with my friends, they would have disposable cameras all throughout the house, and they’d urge people to take pictures throughout the night,” said David Dobrik.  “In the morning, they’d collect all the cameras and look back at the footage and be like, ‘What happened last night?’”

“It would be like the ending of ‘The Hangover’ every morning,” Dobrik said. He started posting his developed photographs on an Instagram account in June 2019, and quickly reached millions of followers. Other influencers and celebrities, including Tana Mongeau and Gigi Hadid, soon started their own “disposable” accounts.

It raised $4 million in seed funding back in October led by Reddit’s co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s VC firm Seven Seven Six, with the participation of Shrung Capital, Unshackled Ventures along with celebrity investors kike Sofia Vergara and The Chainsmokers. 

Rolling out invite-only and catching hype from users and investors in a short time aroused people to think that Dispo is following Clubhouse’s footsteps. 

By facilitating unfiltered conversations among celebrities, business leaders and technologists, Clubhouse has reached 10 million users and $ 1 billion valuation in a few months.

Written by Jordan Bevan


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