Secret-sharing app Whisper said to capture $30M in funding

The anonymous-confession app closes its third round of funding in less than a year, giving it a $200 million valuation, according to Recode.

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Whisper CEO Michael Heyward at the company's Santa Monica temporary headquarters. Jennifer Van Grove/CNET

Whisper, the popular anonymous secret-sharing app, has reportedly landed new funding from venture capitalists that gives the company a valuation of $200 million.

The new round, coming six months after its previous funding round, totals just less than $30 million, multiple sources close to the situation told Recode. Combined with the $21 million raised in September and $3 million last April, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based startup has raised nearly $54 million in less than a year.

Led by Shasta Ventures and Thrive Capital, the round also reportedly included China's Tencent Holdings, which announced Sunday it had taken a 15 percent stake in Chinese online retailer JD.com. Existing investors Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners participated in the current funding round, according to Recode.

CNET has contacted Whisper for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

Founded in 2012, the not even 2-year-old smartphone application provides a forum where users can anonymously post confessions to a public feed where strangers can see it, like it, and post a reply. In many ways a response to the overshare existence found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, Whisper harkens back to the Web's early days, when anonymity was the norm.

Users can strike up a conversation with each other via private message, while the app's popular feed exposes some of the top secrets on the service. A nearby stream highlights whispers posted close to the user, and a featured feed offers up content curated by the app's content moderators.

The report did not indicate how precisely the funding would be used, but it might go toward paying for new office space, as the startup has recently outgrown the Santa Monica bungalow that has served as its headquarters for two years, according to LA Curbed. Not popular with neighbors, the 32-employee company is said to have vacated the three-bedroom house for a larger space in Venice, Calif.

 

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