If there was any slowdown coming in the wave of ephemeral and anonymous apps, it hasn’t happened yet. In June already, Facebook, Skout and Path launched new ephemeral messaging/media sharing apps while Foundation Capital led a seed investment into anonymous chat app Wut.
The rise of funded companies and investors in the ephemeral app ecosystem becomes especially easy to visualize using the Business Social Graph, a storytelling solution for visually analyzing business relationships. The Business Social Graph below highlights investors in ephemeral and anonymous apps in the first six months of 2012. Just a handful come up – Snapchat‘s early seed investment from Lightspeed Venture Partners and a seed financing by NEA and Triple Point Ventures into Meh Labs, which later became Yahoo-acquired self-destructing messaging app Blink.
Increasing the Business Social Graph time-series visualization to 2014 YTD reveals a flood of new investors into the space from brand-name VCs including Benchmark and Sequoia to corporates like Tencent and Juniper Networks. In all, 37 institutional investors (non-angel) have backed an ephemeral or anonymous app since 2012 – more than the number of investor-backed startups and mirroring early investor herd mentality into the bitcoin space.
Peeling back the most active investors in the ephemeral app space, Google Ventures and SV Angel stand out as especially prolific. Google Ventures has backed Secret, Wut, Rumr and Confide, three of which also count SV Angel as an investor. SV Angel is also an investor in Snapchat.