Lightspeed Leads $3 Million Investment Into Mobile Confessions App Whisper

Posted Apr 5, 2013

Whisper is a Los Angeles based company that has developed an iOS app that allows where users to add a confession on top of a photo anonymously.  Whisper launched this past November the app hosts millions of secrets and they have over one million users.  Although the app has not been adapted much in Silicon Valley, it is very popular on college campuses.  The one million users open the app an average of 6 times per day and spend about 30 minutes per day.  Last month, the app hit one billion pageviews.

The Whisper app is free, but users pay $5.99 to communicate with each other.  Jeremy Liew of Lightspeed Venture Partners noticed Whisper’s growth so they led Snapchat’s seed round this past March.  Whisper has raised $13.5 million total so far.  This week Lightspeed led a $3 million round of investment into Whisper with participation from Brian Lee, Joe Greenstein, John Hadl, and Trinity Ventures.  Hadl helped Whisper co-founders Michael Heyward and Brad Brookes launch the project.

According to PandoDaily, Heyward said that the application was inspired by his college-aged sister.  She complained that the lives of her friends were perfect, but hers was not.  He realized that she is only seeing the good part of their lives as maintained on an edited Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram page.  Heyward designed Whisper to enable people to avoid creating a facade of themselves.  This way you do not have to be a brand manager of yourself.  After Heyward noticed users trying to send supportive messages to each other, he decided to launch an message function into the app.  This is when the app really took off.

Around 800,000 paid messages are being sent out through Whisper per day at a cost of 99 cents per conversation of $5.99 per month for unlimited messaging.  Around 20% of those messages are based on a conversation that started two weeks ago.  This means that users are not exchanging personal information and then ditching the app like what happens to many dating apps.

Below are a couple of screenshots of what the app looks like: