F3, a new social app aimed at Generation Z, has raised a $3.9 million seed round led by the Mamba dating network, the company announced Tuesday.
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The app lets users send each other questions, photos and videos, and reply to each other’s posts. Users don’t just post what they think is interesting, but rather reply to content others have sent them, co-founder Girts Tihomirovs said in an interview with Crunchbase News.
While Instagram can be like a mood board or a place to post the best photos from a vacation, and Snapchat is more raw and in real-time–something Gen Z gravitates toward–F3 takes it a step further, Tihomirovs said.
According to the company, the app encourages more honest conversation by allowing users to reply to posts anonymously. The company has taken safety protocols including automatic content moderation and explicit photo and video detection, per F3.
The founding team of F3 was also behind social networking site Ask.Fm, which grew to more than 150 million users before it was sold to IAC, owner of brands like Vimeo and The Daily Beast.
The idea for F3 was inspired by Ask.Fm, according to Tihomirovs. The team wanted to build a social network from the ground up, but aimed at the current young audience (Generation Z), instead of millennials.
“During Ask.Fm we accumulated a lot of knowledge around this topic and when we sold Ask.Fm we went on a little hiatus and thought about what we’d like to do and so we actually played around with a lot of ideas. … but then, step by step, we basically realized that we have quite (a number) of things that we saw at the moment that could be realized in a form of F3 and of course it was linked in many ways with our previous experience,” co-founder and lead product designer Klavs Sinka said.
Based in Riga, Latvia, F3 was officially launched in 2018, with the first stage of development funded by the founders. The $3.9 million seed is the first round of money the company has raised. Investors in the company include the Mamba dating app, with its investor Mail.ru Group, the venture capital firm Adfirst, former Musical.ly president Alex Hofmann, and BitFury Capital general partner Marat Kichikov.
F3 has more than 25 million registered users on the app, with about 85 percent of them under the age of 25.
The company plans on using the new funding to create more interesting tools, new ways to create content, and new ways to discover interesting people and content, Tihomirovs said. It will be growing its team, which is currently about 30 full-time employees, by hiring mostly product team members, and also plans on eventually opening an office in the United States–something that so far hasn’t really been possible because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company is also planning on expanding in the United States and North America. The company’s target audience is in Europe, with about half of its users there, with 20 percent in South America, and 20 percent elsewhere.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
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