There was a variety of dangerous information about social media startups currently. A number of firms, together with Twitter different Submit Information, and IRL have shut down. And ShareChat’s valuation has dropped greater than 50% after a current funding spherical. However amid the damaging headlines, the current exit of French social community BeReal appears like a shiny spot.

BeReal, which alerts customers that they’ve two minutes to “be actual” by taking each a front-facing photograph and a selfie, was acquired by Voodoo, a French cell recreation and app unicorn, for €500 million ($537 million) this week.

This deal values BeReal at a minor haircut off its final valuation of $587 million in April 2022. BeReal raised capital from enterprise corporations, together with Accel, Andreessen Horowitz and Coatue, amongst others. The startup presently has 40 million lively customers, half of whom use the app no less than six days per week, in response to a press launch concerning the acquisition. Stories peg every day customers to be round 25 million.

Regardless of the corporate’s reputation, its consumer progress has largely plateaued in current months, and BeReal was not in nice monetary form main as much as this deal. In March, at an all-hands assembly, BeReal staff have been informed that the company only had about 10 months of runway left and would both want to lift extra or be acquired to maintain going, in response to Enterprise Insider.

Effectively, the corporate obtained its want.

The connection between Voodoo and BeReal started years in the past when Voodoo helped BeReal broaden to the U.S., Voodoo co-founder and CEO Alexandre Yazdi informed For Millionaires. Yazdi added that BeReal is presently the one social media platform that he makes use of.

He additionally mentioned that he’s conscious of the corporate’s current struggles to develop its customers, particularly amid a drop-off within the U.S., however he’s assured that the bottom product is nice sufficient to maintain the corporate — it simply wants some new options and slightly assist, he says.

“BeReal is essentially the most profitable social media that has been created within the final eight years,” Yazdi mentioned. “They’ve actually created one thing distinctive. Their success confirmed that customers actually craved extra authenticity. They’ve 40 million customers and the overwhelming majority submit six days per week. That’s a powerful baseline and foundation to construct on.”

Yazdi mentioned that Voodoo, which has constructed three social networks of its personal, is the proper associate to “write the subsequent web page of the story.” Yazdi mentioned they plan to roll out options like messaging and video to the platform as a approach to increase consumer engagement.

He additionally mentioned that they plan to include advertisements into customers’ feeds. BeReal had but to monetize to date, however Yazdi mentioned they are going to match BeReal’s mission of authenticity and be designed to not be disruptive to customers.

There may be a variety of good about this deal. For one, it’s possible the one manner BeReal would have the ability to preserve working, and as somebody who nonetheless makes use of it on the common, that’s value celebrating by itself. So something that offers BeReal the capital and help it must deal with some points and probably get again on the trail of rising customers, whereas additionally beginning to soak up income, looks like the best-case situation for a startup that very simply might have simply needed to shut up store.

Plus, Voodoo looks like a pleasant residence for the app. The corporate has constructed and run social platforms of its personal, and Yazdi is passionate in regards to the precise product. This isn’t what a typical acquisition appears like, the place an organization is seeing stalled progress and monetary struggles.

I’m slightly extra hesitant on the corporate’s plans to monetize, nonetheless. Getting cash via advertisements is a pure alternative for social media firms, however I fear about how current customers will really feel about advertisements, the precise reverse of “genuine” pictures of their associates, and if that would put a wrinkle within the firm’s plans to lure folks again.

Whereas I get that social media startups have solely so some ways to monetize, most individuals aren’t prepared to pay for it, as X has repeatedly found out. And customers don’t appear to like the rising variety of ads on X or Instagram both. I’m additionally undecided the addition of chat or the flexibility to submit video shall be sufficient to steer customers to return again, particularly in the event that they return to a feed threaded with advertisements.

However Yazdi is assured that the corporate will get again to rising due to how differentiated its technique actually is. He says that will probably be a problem to get BeReal to the place they need it, however a worthy one, whereas preserving the “mission” of the startup at coronary heart.

“We’re by no means going to interrupt that DNA of authenticity,” Yazdi mentioned. “That is the BeReal. We aren’t going to the touch that DNA.”

Customers would be the choose of that.