Austin-based social media startup ibble has high hopes to take on giants like Tiktok and Instagram. The company just raised $12.7 million in seed funding, making it one of the largest seed rounds in Texas history, according to Crunchbase data
Founded in 2018 by Goldman Sachs veterans Raymond Kaminski, Irving Lee, and Eric Albee, ibble began as an educational investing startup but quickly grew into an app for deeper and “more meaningful conversations” rather than quick interactions like likes or follows, Kaminski told Insider. 
The app works by letting users join in on public conversations on topics like hobbies, interesting prompts, or current events. Users can jump into someone’s conversation by replying to a specific part of a user’s livestream with a video, audio, or text message.
“It’s everything from people that are helping heal PTSD in veterans, to tarot card readers, to dog trainers, to musicians, to film editors,” Kaminski said. 
The pitch attracted Drive Capital, who led the $12.7 million seed round. TTV Capital, Unknown Ventures, and Get Engaged Media also participated in the round.
The app currently has around 80,000 users who are mostly celebrities and influencers, but Kaminski hopes to grow that figure with ibble’s official launch at South By Southwest this Friday. ibble will also be debuting a new feature at the festival called Super Events, where users can see videos of group conversations taking place on a map surrounding the festival. 
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