NEW YORK, April 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Itsme, the next-generation social platform, today announced $15.175MM in Series A funding led by Alexis Ohanian's Seven Seven Six, with participation from Third Kind Ventures, Allen & Company, Scott Belsky and Adam Silverschotz. Itsme is centered on the creation of high fidelity, technologically advanced Avatars through which users meet, interact and grow friendships online with people all over the world. The app's Avatar premise was created to make online conversations more expressive, comfortable and not dictated by physical appearance.
Itsme originally launched in March 2020 and to date more than 4 million people have created Avatars and made lasting connections. Founders Aakash Sastry (CEO) and John Mullan (CTO) first met and became friends on Reddit over a shared interest and aligned on ideation for Itsme. Realizing the extent of undiscovered friendships around the world, and the comfortable nature of Avatar interaction, the two created a platform to grow meaningful friendships online in both enjoyable and safe ways for its users.
"People want to be liberated from the limited reality of how their camera sees them and our goal is to offer a digital solution that empowers personality, passions and conversations to take center stage," says Itsme CEO Aakash Sastry. "High-fidelity 3D Avatars empower people to be their most expressive and truest selves, while also allowing them to be as safe or private as they want."
Content moderation aided by human moderators is key to ensuring conversations and interactions on the platform remain safe and appropriate. Itsme's deep personalization grounded in users' interests and activity patterns on the app helps connect users to others they share similarities with and with whom they're most likely to get along. Popular activities on the app include Avatar video chat, messaging, and Avatar customization. At this time users spend 2.5 million minutes video chatting as their Avatars per week and the platform sees 5 million messages sent per day.
In addition to believing in Avatars' power to foster genuinity, Itsme's founders anticipate Avatars will change how people digitally express themselves long-term and will open additional commerce opportunities. On Itsme, users will be able to create or trade items like clothing, cosmetics and accessories, which goes hand in hand with a creative base of users exploring their identities in a fun and freeing online community.
Over the next month Itsme also plans to release its next generation of high-fidelity Avatars, group chats, advanced methods to search the community and even more ways users can share Avatars across the web. To continue growing the platform and its capabilities, the original pair of online friends Sastry and Mullan plan to put new funding toward growing the team, scaling infrastructure, and continuing to invest in creating the most expressive Avatars on the Internet.
Lead investor Alexis Ohanian, Founder of Seven Seven Six, is also serving as a board member to help guide the company toward continued success as an online community. "I'm joining this board in order to help Itsme achieve its ultimate goal of creating a welcoming space for people to be their authentic selves," said Ohanian. "It's poetic given how Aakash and John met that we all get to work together on accelerating the tremendous growth this app has already achieved. I've seen first-hand how much they value trust and safety, and when you combine that with an amazing mobile experience built by and for Gen Z, you've got all the makings of another pillar of the social web."
Itsme is a mobile app that empowers you to customize an expressive 3D Avatar that you can then use to comfortably meet new people from around the world. Itsme's mission is to create high-fidelity Avatars and Environments that enable the World to feel closer together. Founders Aakash Sastry (CEO) and John Mullan (CTO) first met online, became friends and built the Itsme platform to what it is today. Originally launched in March 2020, Itsme has grown to a top 10 social app in America with more than 4 million users to date. For more information on Itsme, please visit https://www.itsme.video/ and the app is available for download on the Apple App Store.
CONTACT: Sunshine Sachs for Seven Seven Six, [email protected]
SOURCE Seven Seven Six