*Last year, Vernon Coleman and his friend Kevin Robertson dropped out of college to work full-time on their social networking app for Millennials called Realtime.
The app is an invite-only video chatting service that can be used for fun social clubs or hosting meetings and conferences.
Here’s more from Forbes:
Coleman and Robertson designed an initial app called Club Connect while studying at UC Santa Cruz; it let students with similar interests meet digitally and then hang out in real life. After the app gained some traction at UC Santa Cruz, they dropped out and moved up to San Francisco in 2019 to network, establish their app at another school and hopefully raise some money.
When Covid-19 hit last spring, Coleman and Robertson were forced to reconsider and essentially start from scratch.
Alexis Ohanian just made a 23-year-old tech CEO one of the youngest Black entrepreneurs to raise VC funding. Meet Vernon Coleman. https://t.co/m2ZuLiYTeh
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) December 19, 2020
That’s when they decided to enhance the “virtual relationships” experience, and Realtime was born.
According to Yahoo, on Friday, the app announced it raised a $4 million seed round led by investor Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six venture fund. Other investors include Kickstarter cofounder Yancey Strickler, former Tinder CPO Ravi Mehta, and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin.
Only about 1% of VC funding goes to Black startup founders, according to the report.
We did it Joe….
Realtime won’t just change the way people connect and interact… We will redefine what it means to be a social network! https://t.co/P9yI5tr3k4
— Vernon Coleman (@VernTheLegend) December 18, 2020
“People are craving human connection now more than ever and Vernon has identified a unique way to expedite today’s evolving need for interaction,” Ohanian said in a press release. “His innovative approach to building hyper-personal online communities through instant, real-time video chatting made Realtime a compelling company to invest in.”
The Realtime app hasn’t officially launched, but Coleman, 23 told Business Insider that he wants the app to become the “authentic social layer for Gen Z and young millennials.”
He has plans to expand Realtime into the real world after the pandemic.