Did social app Clubhouse just become a unicorn?

The social audio app could be worth $1B just 8 months after cracking a $100m valuation.

When you finally get an invite to Clubhouse… (Source: Reddit)

About 8 months ago, the internet had a good chuckle when Clubhouse raised money at a $100m valuation, even though the social audio app only had 5k beta users and was not yet in the App Store.

Looks like that was just the start.

Clubhouse — which lets users create live chat rooms or listen in on top investors (Marc Andreessen) and celebrities (Meek Mill, John Mayer) — is raising a new round, potentially at a $1B valuation, per The Information.

All of these numbers are being thrown around…

… even as the app still:

  • Is making zero revenue
  • Doesn’t have an Android app
  • Remains invite-only (with 2m current registered users)

In a blog post, Clubhouse signals that the investment will be used to work on these challenges as well as provide monetization tools — subscriptions, tickets, tipping — for creators.

For its own business, Clubhouse could easily charge a fee or take a cut off of the creators.

Dealing with common social network issues

The 10-person startup is expanding its:

  • Moderation team: The Information notes that 2 of the startup’s open roles are for “trust and safety” to deal with bullying and trolling on the platform
  • Influencer program: Its “Creator Pilot Program” gives dozens of power users access to management and specialized tools

In a recent report, Andreessen Horowitz — which led the previous funding round — writes that “the audio innovation of the next decade will rival what we’ve seen in video apps over the past few years,” moving from passive podcast/audiobook listening to more interactive formats.

If that’s the case, we’ll be hearing a lot more from Clubhouse in 2021.

The new model for audio will be much more interactive. (Image via Andreessen Horowitz)

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