The live podcast app Clubhouse, which has only been on the market for almost a year, is soaring to unprecedented heights in terms of the company valuation of the Alpha Exploration Co company. In a new round of financing, Clubhouse is now valued at 4 billion US dollars, about 3.37 billion euros, as reported by business magazine Bloomberg. In the last round of financing in January, the value was estimated at one billion.
Clubhouse’s $ 4 billion business valuation is said to have taken place according to information from Bloomberg during talks on a new financing round. Bloomberg relies on information from people entrusted with the matter. It is currently still unclear how much money Clubhouse wants to collect in the new financing round and which investors are involved, since the talks are still “private”. Clubhouse itself initially made no comment, according to Bloomberg.
Investors have high hopes for Clubhouse and are ready to invest a lot of money in the start-up. In the last Series B financing round in January 2021, Clubhouse raised approximately $ 110 million in capital from investors. Clubhouse wants to use the money, among other things, to develop an Android app. So far, the app is only available for Apple’s iOS mobile operating system. Participants can only take part in the live podcasts and discussions by invitation. Clubhouse has been a non-listed company since January 2021 with a company valuation of over $ 1 billion as a “unicorn”.
In Germany, the app has only gained a higher level of awareness since January 2021, after German-speaking influencers, celebrities and politicians jumped on the live podcast train – including the particularly willing, confessing Candy Crush player and Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow. In the USA, well-known faces from TV and business also use Clubhouse for their purposes, including talker Oprah Winfrey, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla and SpaceX co-founder Elon Musk.
In addition, the concept of the app has found some prominent imitators in the major social networks. Twitter, for example, offers a similar function with spaces. Discord calls them Stage Channels. Facebook, LinkedIn and Slack say they are also working on a function that is to be integrated into their own networks.
Accordingly, Clubhouse is rated as promising by analysts and investors and the increase in company value can be explained. As of February 2021, the app will be used by more than 10 million users, according to Clubhouse co-founder and CEO Paul Davidson.
The company is still financed exclusively from the capital that flows in from investors in the financing rounds. The recently introduced function of being able to remunerate the hosts of the live podcasts, known as creators, for their efforts via direct payments, is intended to make the use of Clubhouse permanently attractive to them and to provide the mass of users with new content on a permanent basis. Clubhouse does not receive anything from these direct payments, but has brought a potent start-up on board with the payment service provider Stripe, which collects transaction fees itself.
Clubhouse is controversial in terms of data protection law in Germany. Hamburg data protectionists had questioned compliance with the guidelines of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Among other things, they complained that address books on the iPhones of clubhouse users are automatically read and contact details are stored in the USA without the consent of the persons concerned. The Federation of German Consumer Organizations also sees a number of serious legal deficiencies and criticizes, among other things, a lack of general terms and conditions and data protection information in German as well as violations of European data protection law.