Feature Article

March 12, 2014

Wheelings & Dealings: Anonymous Confession App Whisper Raises $30 Million

With the rise of social media, it seems like everyone is sharing everything these days, even things most people would rather not see. Whisper, on the other hand, has its users share their deepest secrets anonymously, and the startup has been awarded $30 million for its effort, according to Re/code.

The latest round of funding places the value of the company at $200 million, compared with $76 million at its last round of funding in September. Shasta Ventures, Thrive Capital, and Tencent provided the funding.

The company bills itself as “Where the truth lives.”

Whisper’s mobile app lets users choose a background and then write out their secrets on the messages. The effect is very similar to the popular PostSecret blog, where anonymous people share their secrets via handmade postcards.

Whisper has its own blog where it features some of its users’ contributions. Like PostSecret, they run the gamut from hilarious to heartbreaking.

“I had knee surgery when I was 12. I tell girls I meet it was a shark bite,” one user wrote, using a picture of a shart as a background.

Other messages are more poignant.

“The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the brightest. The most damaged people are the wisest. All because they do not want to see people suffer the way they do,” another message, just plain text on a white background, read.

If services like Facebook and Google+, which are tied to users’ real names, encourage people to present sanitized versions of themselves, then the Los Angeles-bases Whisper is betting that people really want to express themselves, even if they have to forgo their identities.

Given the success in fundraising, it looks like Whisper has made the right decision.  The company will still have to figure out monetization, as the app does not offer advertising because of the obvious privacy concerns.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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