Yo, the simple-communications application startup, announced Friday it has completed its initial round of funding.
According to the San Francisco company, it raised $1.5 million from venture-capital firms and tech leaders, including Betaworks and Mashable CEO and founder Pete Cashmore.
Yo expects to focus on building the app through the growth of its user base, as well as via the development of an application programming interface for use by brands, businesses and other apps.
“The value of this round goes far beyond the dollar amount that we received,” CEYo Or Arbel said. “Bringing such incredibly smart, talented, and experienced people into the Yo team at this stage is an incredible advantage that will allow us to accelerate the growth and provide more and better value to our users.”
Yo said the company also had tapped private investors, but the firm declined to disclose their identities at this time.
However, Business Insider reported the founders of China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. (HKG:0700) invested more than $250,000 in the enterprise.
TechCrunch quoted a source as saying Yo was valued at $10 million after the initial round of funding was completed.
The social-messaging app that sends only the word “Yo” to other users caught the world’s attention in June as users eagerly downloaded the app to get into the fray of sending that one word to as many people as possible.
The Yo app is believed to already have more than 2 million installations and 2,000 developers working with the Yo API.
While some may be skeptical of the company’s valuation, Betaworks co-founder John Borthwick sees potential in the simple messaging app.
“We are fascinated by these uses of simple yes/no on/off communications tools,” Borthwick said. "There is no payload in Yo -- no pictures, no text, just a deceptively simple on/off state that over time has the potential to become a platform.”