January 9, 2023
Founded only in 2019 by former GoPro employees Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Perreau, BeReal began to make the news for its earnest growth earlier this year, as its Gen Z user base sent the app climbing the App Store charts. The company is now in the news for closing a round of USD$60 million to put together funds in its fight against other big social media apps rushing to duplicate some of its no-frills features. The funding is coming in the form of a Series B, and values the Paris-based startup at a little over €600 million – which at today’s exchange is just under USD$ 637.5 million.
A source told TechCrunch that there are approximately 20 million daily active users, which indicates the app’s growing popularity amongst Gen Z and beyond, as the numbers have gone up from 7.9 million users as of July of this year. The numbers reflect that despite other more popular social apps’ deep pockets and technological agility, they are unable to reproduce the core of the BeReal experience.
Even though BeReal’s user base is only a small fraction of the user base that the juggernauts of social media attract, the pace at which BeReal is gaining traction among its key demographic of young adults has been a solid incentive for those other apps to pay attention to how they can bring the same kind of experience into their own platforms.
In April, Apptopia, an app intelligence firm, reported that BeReal had grown its installs by 315% year to date for its simple use-case model. BeReal, once a day, sends its user a notification encouraging them to take a dual photo, or a “BeReal,” i.e., they should take a combination of a selfie and a front-facing photo, snapped simultaneously, to display the user’s day-to-day life. The platform deletes these images after 24 hours, prompting the users to engage in the activity repeatedly. This experience is focused on providing the users with a more authentic photo feed compared to the curated aesthetic found on other social media apps. The features lured a range of investors, culminating in a $30 million Series A, co-led by Andreessen Horowitz and Accel in June 2021.
Divyajyot (DJ) Verma