Shots, a Justin Bieber-endorsed app that lets users share selfies, has raised $8.5 million in funding from WI Harper Group, Launch Fund, Upfront Ventures, 500 Startups, and Rodney Jerkins, reports Business Insider.
Justin reportedly led Shots’ $1.1 million seed round last year. And he still uses Shots to share selfies with other celebrities, backstage photos at his shows, and pictures of his dog. He also regularly promotes Shots on his Twitter account, which has almost 63 million followers.
JB’s star appeal no doubt gave Shots a boost: for the first few months of Shots’ existence, 90% of Shots users were also following Justin on Twitter. But now, that number has dropped to less than 10%. And its new funding shows that other investors think the selfie-powered social network has some sticking power.
Shots lets users take and share selfies, which are displayed in a feed like Twitter or Instagram. But unlike Instagram, Shots doesn’t let users leave public comments. You can only respond to a selfie with a picture of your own. There’s no text direct messaging feature. And there’s no way to see how many followers another user has.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Shots now has more than 5 million users.
Just this week, Shots gave its users the ability to upload 3-second videos and to find nearby friends on the app. Since most of its users are younger — the average Shots user is 16 —its limited features are intentional, preventing cyberbullying and harassment.
Shots isn’t making money yet but cofounder John Shahidi tells The Journal the company has spoken with advertisers who want to reach Shots’ young userbase.
Here’s the list of SHOTS investors:
– NALA Investments (Venture Capital)
– Shervin Pishevar (Co-Founder & Managing Partner @ SherpaVentures)
– Danny Davis (Managing Partner @ SeedFrog)
– Floyd Mayweather
– Justin Bieber
– Omar Epps
– Tom McInerney (Founder @ TGM)
– Maven Ventures Growth Labs
– MLB Major League Baseball Ventures
– Rodney Jerkins
– 500 Startups
– Upfront Ventures
– Launch Fund
– WI Harper Group
– Soma Capital
– Social Starts