UPDATED 21:52 EST / JUNE 15 2021

APPS

Social planning app startup IRL raises $170M on unicorn valuation of $1.17B

Social planning application startup IRL announced today it has raised $170 million in new funding to expand its user base internationally.

The Series C round in IRL, which stands for “in real life,” was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Other investors included Dragonneer, Goodwater Capital, Founders Fund and Floodgate. The funding was raised on a valuation of $1.17 billion, giving IRL unicorn status for the first time.

Founded in 2017, IRL started as a tool for discovering real-world events but has shifted to become more of a group messaging app that links people through events and shared experiences. The app, focused on younger users, is designed to make make it easy to send and receive invites to hang out with friends in real life. The app also features suggestions for invites that users can send, which change regularly based on users’ interests or locations, seasons and upcoming holidays.

With a goal of keeping users “connected with everyone you love,” the app is pitched as a way to provide a place to discover things to do and to allow users to do those things with their favorite people.

Along with curated groups, for example, Among Us, NBA Fans and “Let’s Play Minecraft,” users can set up their own groups and invite friends to chat or discuss shared experiences. In addition, the IRL group messaging app includes support for chat, polls, photos and event planning among group members. Support is also available for a shared group calendar.

Since launching in 2019, IRL now coordinates 2 million events per day. According to Finsmes, users have spent more than 300 million hours together through the app and sent more than 1 billion messages.

Along with the funding, IRL also announced a new Culture and Creator Fund, which will help finance local events and social activities for users in cities across the U.S., along with new expanded group messaging features.

Including the new funding, IRL has raised $197 million to date, according to Crunchbase.

Image: IRL

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