Reddits Alexis Ohanian invests in camera app from David Dobrik – Business Insider

  • Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s brand new fund, Seven Seven Six, has made its first investment into Dispo, a camera app created by YouTube star David Dobrik.
  • Ohanian tells Business Insider that if Dispo “does what we think it will do, in 10 years, this will be a core part of the new generation of social media.”
  • Dispo replicates the experience of using a disposable film camera. Users take photos and then wait for them to “develop” once per day before viewing them. With the investment, the app plans to add social features.
  • Ohanian called his investment “an opportunity to reimagine” a social network that “doesn’t create opportunities for bullying.”
  • The $4 million round was led by Ohanian and joined by big names like Ryan Hoover’s Weekend Fund, actress Sofia Vergara, Lime CEO Wayne Ting, The Chainsmokers and others.
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Alexis Ohanian’s new Seven Seven Six fund has made its first investment, leading the $4 million seed round for Dispo.

Dispo attracted a boatload of other well-known names, too. Ryan Hoover’s Weekend Fund, actress Sofia Vergara, Latin World Entertainment CEO Luis Balaguer, The Chainsmokers, Roivant CEO Vivek Ramaswamy, Lime CEO Wayne Ting, Unshackled Ventures, and Pizzaslime co-founders Matt Hwang and Stove also joined the round, according to Dispo.

The app is available in Apple’s App Store as David’s Disposable.

Users of Dispo take photos and must wait for them to “develop” once per day before viewing them.

“It’s not about spending hours at an event, taking photos, editing those photos, making sure the caption is just right to get as many hearts as possible,” Ohanian told Business Insider. “It’s about enjoying the event, taking some photos, and then going back to enjoying the events.”

Dispo was co-created by Natalie Mariduena and David Dobrik, whose YouTube vlogs have garnered over 7.8 billion views according to social media tracker Social Blade.

Ohanian said he had only just finished separating from his previous venture capital firm, Initialized Capital, when a mutual connection told him Dispo’s CEO Daniel Liss was looking for an introduction. While he was impressed with the app’s concept and traction, what really won him over was meeting with Dobrik.

“He has an uncanny understanding not just of what his community wants with the content he creates, which is a given, but also what his community, which is basically Gen Z, wants,” Ohanian said.

The funding will be used to “rebrand” the app with “a new look and feel, along with a number of new features that will enhance the experience for the growing Dispo community,” Dispo said in a statement. 

Ohanian called his investment “an opportunity to reimagine what a social network based around photos could look like that doesn’t force people into bringing out the worst, that doesn’t create opportunities for bullying. And it doesn’t sort of force people to be beholden to likes or follows.”

Ohanian and Dispo declined to share what social features might be coming to the app, but the app is slated to gain a group photo feature allowing users to combine photos into a collection they can view the next day, reported the Wall Street Journal’s Logan Moore.

When asked if he saw the app as a competitor to Instagram, Ohanian replied that “Dispo is a competitor to anything that captures the imagination of teens and college kids.”

Ohanian added, “If this does what we think it will do, in 10 years, this will be a core part of the new generation of social media.”

Ohanian quit Reddit’s board in June and urged the company to replace him with a Black member as protests over the police killing of George Floyd were sweeping the U.S. Y Combinator CEO Michael Seibel eventually filled the spot.

Weeks later Ohanian left his seed-stage venture capital firm Initialized Capital to focus on pre-seed investing. Ohanian filed to create his new fund, Seven Seven Six, in late September. Ohanian’s first investment happened much sooner than he expected, he said, although he declined to say when he’ll invest next.

“There’s already been a couple of other very, very strong companies that we’re looking to wrap up that we were able to win as well,” Ohanian said.

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