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Hyper-Local Social Messaging App Yik Yak Raises $1.5 Million in Funding

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Tuesday, April 22nd 2014
| Atlanta, GA
Read More About: hyperlocal, social media, yikyak


Founders Plan to Capitalize on Rapid Growth by Expanding User-Base, Focusing on App Development and Scalability

Yik Yak, the social messaging app for hyper-local engagement, today announced it has secured $1.5 million in funding. Investors include Vaizra Investments, DCM, Azure Capital Partners and several other angels. The investment will be used to enhance current features of the app, beloved by its fast-growing user base, and to fuel user growth and expansion both in the US and overseas. 

Founded five months ago by entrepreneurs Brooks Buffington and Tyler Droll, Yik Yak is aimed at connecting age-appropriate users within a mile-and-a-half geographical radius.

Users have illustrated various examples of community building. Recently, students on a Southern university campus used Yik Yak to raise money for a fellow student undergoing treatment for cancer. While other local users did not personally know this student, Yik Yak created the forum for increased awareness and support among like-minded peers.

"Our goal with Yik Yak was to create an open forum for mobile users to easily communicate, or Yak with one another, providing a virtual bulletin board of sorts for community engagement within a specific location," said Droll, CEO of Yik Yak. "This funding will not only give us the opportunity to bring our platform to more locations, but it will also help generate more features and functionalities that connect users and encourage free expression, humorous or cause-related engagement or community-building through the app."

Age-appropriate users can anonymously engage with peers through 200-character messages in a Twitter-style feed. While other competitor apps allow any age group to post, Yik Yak encourages information sharing and community support, but uses geo-fencing technology to restrict access at primary and secondary schools. Giving everyone a voice, Yik Yak does not require pre-established friendships or connections for conversation to take place. The app, currently available for iOS and Android devices, lets users upvote, downvote or reply to any 'Yak' posted by someone within the tight, 1.5-mile radius. Currently, Yik Yak is seeing its user-rate increase exponentially, with the average campus conversion rate resulting in a majority of each student population using the app within weeks, as well as over 90 percent daily engagement among active college users.

"We are excited to pioneer what we see as the future of social engagement: Geographically-focused, anonymous user-generated content sharing," said Buffington, COO of Yik Yak. "Providing an outlet for individuals from all walks of life to communicate and interact authentically is our mission, and we see this happening every day as our quickly-growing user base finds new and interesting ways to connect and support each other through our app."

Prior to this financing, Yik Yak received initial funding from Atlanta Ventures and gained popularity by word-of-mouth on college campuses in the South. The app is now present at over 100 universities across the US.

For more information, please visit www.yikyakapp.com.

About Yik Yak
Yik Yak, LLC is the first anonymous social app that enables hyper-local community building on iOS and Android devices. Meet friends, start a cause, join a cause or spread the word with Yik Yak, which lets you connect with everyone else on Yik Yak within a 1.5-mile radius. The fast-growing app is a favorite among college campuses and in areas where events worth sharing are occurring. The app enables any mobile user to deliver relevant, timely content to hyper-local areas of people, whether it is a weather warning or emergency news.

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