If you haven’t noticed yet, Yo is one of the hottest new apps and has made quite the headlines over the past week, from Business Insider to The Colbert Report. It has rocketed into the Top 10 in the Apple App Store and passed Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook along the way. The app took a measly eight hours to create and is so ridiculously simple that it actually made me laugh the first time I used it, but it’s founders Moshe Hogeg and Or Arbel aren’t laughing after raising $1.2 million in funding and looking for additional engineering talent in San Francisco. (Side note, their job application shouldn’t surprise you https://medium.com/p/76e18a2c686c)
In the last year we’ve seen WhatsApp take the world by storm and get acquired by Facebook for $19 billion and we’ve seen Snapchat make various tweaks to its original creation while turning down $3 billion and $4 billion offers from Facebook and Google along the way. King Digital also created the addictive Candy Crush game and was valued at $7 billion at its IPO. After seeing the giant hype and valuations of these three, you cant help but think back to 2000 Tech Bubble when we saw ridiculous valuations for any company that promised an Internet presence. Could the possible future IPO or acquisition of Yo be the “Pets.com” of a 2014-2015 tech bubble burst stemming from smartphone apps as David Einhorn has been predicting?
Personally, I believe Yo will be a phenomenon for a few weeks and eventually die out like Draw Something, but I’m excited to see what the future holds for this app and to see the strategy of the founders going forward. How long will Hoegeg and Arbel run with the app before being pressured into finding a way to create revenue? What metrics and forms of user analysis will be used to find the potential monetary value of the company? Only time will tell if it just replaces the typical “You up?” text at bar close for a few weeks or if it will evolve and eventually replace the basic text message.