Yubo announced on November 18 that it has closed a new Series C round of financing from historical investors (Idinvest, Iris Capital, Alven and Sweet Capital), as well as new investors including Gaia Capital Partners. On this occasion, Jerry Murdock, co-founder of Insight Partners (and who has invested in the past with Twitter and Snapchat) becomes an independent member of Yubo’s board of directors.
This financing round, which brings the funds raised to more than €50 million in less than a year, should enable the French start-up to strengthen its presence in Anglo-Saxon countries and expand its community in Southeast Asia, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Yubo also plans to multiply by 10 its workforce worldwide, including its moderation team.
Defining itself as “the social platform of Generation Z”, Yubo, launched in 2015 by Sacha Lazimi, relies on technologies and tools for youth protection. It enables its users to create a secure space to expand their social circle. “Yubo is rethinking the concept of social networking, putting meetings and exchanges before the pressure of performance induced by ‘likes’ or ‘followers’,” summarizes the young company.
The start-up has developed other features in the lives, such as the ability to share YouTube videos or to use Snapchat’s augmented reality filters and lenses. Today’s fundraising announcement is expected to accelerate the deployment of these features, as well as the deployment of recommendation algorithms to customize and enrich the user experience based on their interests, interactions and activities available on the application.
Against a backdrop of soaring cyber harassment and the increasing accountability of social networks, the platform announces that it intends to improve the moderation of its content. “Since its creation, Yubo has put the security of its users at the heart of its development, with the implementation of innovative features such as age verification and real-time moderation,” she said. The funds raised will be used to set up hotlines in all active countries, as well as moderation teams and tools in more than 36 languages to improve the security of its users in all regions where Yubo is active.
More than 100,000 new daily newsgroups
This round table closes “a year of exceptional growth” according to the start-up, which explains having recorded a 400% increase in the time spent by its users in the lives and passed the milestone of 40 million users worldwide. The context of the pandemic and the containment measures are probably not unrelated to these good indicators.
Buoyed by “significant growth” in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and France, the French nugget has seen its number of active users triple in France, and the time spent by French users in discussion groups multiplied by 6. More than 100,000 newsgroups are created every day on the platform worldwide. Yubo hopes to double its turnover in 2020, which was 16.8 million euros in 2019.