Snapchat, the fleeting-photo app that’s proving a hit with everyone from pimple-faced teens to Wall Street bankers, said Monday its users are now sharing more than 200 million images every day – that’s up from 150 million just two months ago.
The phenomenal interest in the iOS and Android app, which launched in September 2011, has also resulted in a new round of funding to the tune of $60 million. Venture capital firm Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) led the way, with other companies, including General Catalyst, Benchmark Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and SV Angel, also contributing.
In a blog post announcing the news, Venice Beach-based Snapchat said the financial support would go toward building a bigger engineering team and “figuring out how to pay our server bills.”
IVP posted a release on its website titled “ten reasons why IVP invested in Snapchat”, adding that it was “excited and proud” to be the lead investor in this latest round of funding.
Snapchat’s strong presence in mobile was one of the the factors that attracted the venture capital firm to the service, as well as its growth and engagement which is “off the charts”, and its large user base within a valuable demographic, among other factors.
“Think Twitter….Think Instagram….Think Pinterest….and Snapchat is just getting started,” IVP’S Dennis Phelps said.
Snapchat, a photo-sharing service where the image disappears within seconds of being viewed by the recipient – though not always before the sometimes salacious shot has been captured – received a major update for iOS earlier this month, introducing a sleeker user interface and more intuitive navigation. Over the weekend, it rolled out a new feature for its iOS app – SnapKidz – aimed at those under 13. The Android version hasn’t been shown any love since April 1 so presumably something’ll be happening on that front soon.
Snapchat’s Monday blog post concluded with the promise of some “really exciting surprises around the corner”.