The Los Angeles-based disposable camera app Dispo, whose co-founder stepped down after one of his crew members was accused of sexual assault, confirmed it closed a Series A.
The boost for an undisclosed amount is a comeback for the startup marred by the scandal. Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six, Unshackled Ventures, Endeavor, 35 Ventures and F9 Strategies led the round.
Absent from the round is Spark Capital, which said in March that it would “sever all ties” with the startup following an investigation from Business Insider about a woman who said she was sexually assaulted by a former content creator in Dobrik’s vlog crew.
Dobrik also cut ties with the company in March and issued a YouTube apology for his behavior.
After the report, Seven Seven Six tweeted that it would “donate any profits from our investment in Dispo to an organization working with survivors of sexual assault,” but added that it would continue to support the company. The firm did not immediately respond for comment.
Among the company’s new backers are celebrities Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Cara Delevigne and Sofia Vergara — plus photographers Annie Leibovitz and Raven B. Varona, who “will hold us to a higher standard of photographic excellence,” Dispo’s CEO David Liss said in a blog post announcing the raise.
The app works like a plastic disposable camera, releasing a user’s photos 24 hours after taking them. An updated version, which launched in February, introduced social functions like “Rolls” for users to scroll through each other’s pictures.
Like the founders of new L.A. photo app Poparazzi, Dispo’s team is pushing for a social media experience that feels less orchestrated and curated. In Tuesday’s blog post, Liss pointed to big tech’s reach on “body dysmorphia and mental health.”
“Imagine a world where Dispo is the social network of choice for every teen and college student in the world,” he wrote. “How different a world would that be?”
“Our resolves are strengthened. With our product, team, and community we have a chance to build differently, creating a company on our terms and our values. Hope springs eternal, and Dispo is ready.”
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