BeReal, the photo-sharing app, has been a huge hit with Gen Z and beyond. As other major social apps rush to clone some of its no-nonsense ethos, it’s assembled a war chest to work on the next chapter. londonbusinessblog.com learned that the startup closed a $60 million round earlier this year. The financing comes in the form of a Series B and values Paris, France-based BeReal at a valuation north of €600 million – which is just under $587 million at current exchange rates.
(Exchange rates are tricky right now; the dollar is strong against other currencies in light of the global economic turmoil. When The Information first reported on some details of this round, it noted the pre-money valuation of around $600 million in round size was not previously reported.)
A source tells us that the company now has about 20 million DAUs. As a point of reference, The Information noted that the app had 7.9 million users as of July this year. The numbers seem to indicate that despite attempts by competing social apps to reproduce the core of the BeReal experience — a set of two photos taken from a user’s front and rear cameras, taken at the same time each day. friends should be shared – the one there’s nothing like the real thing, so to speak.
The numbers are still only a small fraction of the users who are attracting the world’s largest social apps, but the speed of BeReal’s growth and its traction on the main demographic of young adults have been strengths for those other apps to pay attention to how they can bring the same kind of experience into their own platforms. Others who have cloned the app include TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat. (We’re not including the now-defunct FrontBack in the list.)
Founded in 2019 by former GoPro employee Alexis Barreyat along with Kévin Perreau, BeReal took off in earnest earlier this year, when its Gen Z user base allowed the app to climb the App Store charts.
In April, app intelligence company Apptopia reported BeReal has grown the number of installations by 315% during the year. a forward-facing photo, taken at the same time. This experience aims to provide its users with a more authentic photo feed compared to the curated aesthetic found on Instagram. And the photos themselves disappear after 24 hours.
The app’s appeal attracted a range of investors, culminating in: a $30 million Series Aco-directed by Andreessen Horowitz and Accel in June 2021.
When The Information reported on the Series B earlier this year, the app would be valued at $100 per daily active user.
As one of our sources described it to us, yes, the consumer apps world has had many examples of early juggernauts dying out (sad waves to YikYak, Peach, Yo and the rest). But relatively speaking, BeReal’s rapid growth and how it seemed to grab the attention of a certain group of users made it an interesting gamble at this stage.
It also came at a time when the app was becoming widely known — as evidenced by the fact that it was the subject of an SNL sketch back in October.
The big question now is how BeReal plans to use the funding and what the next steps might be to develop its product.
The app doesn’t have a business model today, though The FT said it might consider subscriptions. Data provided by Sensor Tower this month also shows that, despite some 53 million lifetime installs, only 9% of BeReal users on Android open the app daily. However, this doesn’t match real-world usage, as more of BeReal’s main user base – younger Gen Z users in the US – tend to use iPhones.