- Founded: 2013
- Ceased Operations: 2017
- Rebooted: 2021
What did Yik Yak do?
Yik Yak was a location-based social media app that allowed users to post anonymous messages, or “yaks,” within a 5-mile radius. Yik Yak quickly became popular among college students, who used it to share news, gossip, and jokes. However, Yik Yak was also criticized for its role in cyberbullying, harassment, and discrimination. In 2015, the company was caught downvoting and deleting posts that mentioned competitors. The company also faced criticism for its failure to address reports of sexual harassment and threats of violence on the app.
Yik Yak has raised a total funding of $81M over 4 rounds from 8 investors. Some of the investors include Sequoia Capital, DCM Ventures, Vaizra Investments, Kevin Colleran, Niko Bonatsos, Atlanta Ventures, and Azure Capital Partners. The app was once valued at $400 million.
Who started Yik Yak?
Founders Tyler Droll and Will Jamieson
Why did Yik Yak go out of business?
In 2017, Yik Yak shut down after its user base declined. The company cited the “increasing challenges” of operating a platform that was anonymous and location-based.
In 2021, Yik Yak was relaunched with new features designed to prevent cyberbullying and harassment. However, the app has faced renewed scrutiny in recent months, with some users reporting that the problems of the past have resurfaced.