David Dobrik’s $200m photo app Dispo, explained

David Dobrik’s new photo app is shaking things up in Silicon Valley.


February 26, 2021

Zuckerberg. Dorsey. Spiegel. Dobrik?

24-year-old David Dobrik has seemingly overnight garnered as much interest from Silicon Valley as he has from Gen Z for years.

That’s because the YouTube and TikTok star is taking on social giants with a photo app that mimics a — get this — disposable camera.

Dispo brings photography back to simpler times

Dobrik came up with the idea after seeing friends use disposable cameras at parties without worrying about how pics came out.

Dispo is designed to mimic that unpolished, no-editing-involved experience:

  • There are no filter options, just flash on/off
  • Users have to wait until the next morning for photos to “develop”
  • Users can like, share, add to, or comment on photos and “rolls” under themes like architecture, plants, and pasta.

The app also happens to be invite-only. Sound familiar?

That’s cause Dispo is following Clubhouse’s footsteps

The invite-only version of the app — the one with social features — quickly hit its 10k-user limit.

In October, Dispo raised $4m from Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s firm along with VC icons The Chainsmokers and Sofia Vergara.

Earlier this week, following talks with little-known investors Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, and Benchmark, Dispo raised $20m, led by Spark Capital at a $200m valuation, pre-revenue.

A key to success in 2021: authenticity and celebrity

The rise of Dispo comes as the combination of authenticity and star power has become a superpower.

Clubhouse — which facilitates unfiltered conversations among celebrities, business leaders, and technologists — has grown to 10m users and a $1B valuation in a matter of months.

MrBeast — with 54.1m YouTube subscribers — this week announced that his MrBeast Burger ghost kitchen chain sold over 1m sandwiches in under 2 months.

That’s right, YouTubers in their 20s building $200m apps and thousand-chain burger joints… what a time to be alive.

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