Gen Z social audio platform Walkie-Talkie dials in $3 million in pre-seed money

dan@tech.eu

Picslo Corp., developers of the audio-based social media app Walkie-Talkie has raised $3 million in a pre-seed funding round. The Bordeaux-based company produces a retro-styled audio app that connects users around the world and allows them to jump into conversations, or, offers smaller private group, or one-to-one audio communications. The capital will be used to further push product development and growth, scale go-to-market, product, engineering, and operations functions, and build new features including monetization, and analytics options.

Let’s be honest, social audio isn’t exactly something new. If memory serves, there’s this thing about a townhouse? Or was that clubs? Something to do with golf, but I digress.

Now, how about we take the concept and see what the creator of a suite of high-fidelity audio and video communication APIs, Voxeet, which was later acquired by Dolby, can make of it? And just for good measure, let’s toss a few more Voxeet and Dolby core audio engineers who specialised in mobile development into the mix.

You have my attention.

Using Dolby.io technology, which is based on Voxeet’s original work, Walkie-Talkie incorporates active noise suppression for crowded environments, spatial audio that separates overlapping voices, and optimized device capture for clearer sound. In other words, the chances of a, “can you hear me now?” are relatively low.

Combining Gen Z’s lust for non-traditional social network engagement and superior quality audio, Walkie-Talkie has seen tremendous word-of-mouth growth, clocking over 20 million downloads in 2021.

“Typically, when a product doubles its user base, engagement goes down. That hasn’t been the case for Walkie-Talkie. As we’ve exceeded our own growth expectations this year, our engagement has gone up,” commented CEO and co-founder Stephane Giraudie.

Walkie-Talkie / Picslo Corp.’s $3 million round was led by Heroic Ventures and saw follow-on investments from TI Platform Ventures, LDVP, Partech Ventures, Diaspora Ventures, Breega, and Kima Ventures. Picslo’s angel investors include Nicolas Dessaigne (Algolia), Lily Zhang (Facebook Stories), Francisco Varela (SVP Facebook/Former Youtube), Stan Massueras (Intercom), and Jason Chiu (serial entrepreneur/NetDragon).

“It is exceedingly rare to see this kind of uptake and enthusiasm from users — all around the planet — for a new application,” said Heroic Ventures’ Michael Fertik. “Match that with Stephane’s leadership and the history of this team, and I knew I wanted to get behind Picslo.”

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