Published On: Tue, Dec 1st, 2020

F3, a Stories-style Q&A app for Gen Z teens, raises $3.9M

F3, an unknown QA app targeting Gen Z teenagers that blends a Tinder-style swipe-to-friend gamification mechanic, Stories-esque abounding media responses and eye-wateringly costly subscriptions to clear a ‘Plus’ chronicle that indeed lets we see who wants to crony we — has lifted a $3.9M seed round, including for a designed pull on a US market.

The Latvian group behind F3 are not new to a viral teen app diversion carrying founded a unknown teen QA app Ask.fm — that faced outrageous debate behind in 2013 over bullying and reserve concerns after being related to a series of suicides of users who’d perceived violent messages. Not that they’ve let that put them off a viral teen app space, clearly.

Investors in F3’s seed turn accost from a Russian dating network Mamba (including a latter’s investor, Mail.ru Group) and a co-investor VC organisation with a selling focus, called AdFirst.

Alex Hofmann (former musical.ly president) and Marat Kichikov (GP during Bitfury Capital) are also named as being among those fasten a turn as angel investors.

F3, that launched a apps in 2018, has 25M purebred users during this indicate — 85% of whom are younger than 25.

The standard user is a (bored) teenager, with a user bottom being reported as 65% womanlike and 60% Europe / 20% LatAm / 20% Rest of World during this point. (They’re not violation out any active user metrics yet explain 80% of users have been on a app for some-more than 3 months during this point.)

On a reserve front, F3 is regulating both programmed collection and people for calm mediation — with a founders claiming to have learnt lessons from their past believe with Ask.fm (which got acquired by IAC’s Ask.com behind in 2014, given them a supports to plough into F3’s growth adult to now).

“We’ve been elucidate problem of violating calm in a prior association (Ask.fm), and now during F3 we’ve used all a believe of elucidate this problem from day one. Automation collection embody calm research in all vital languages with database of 250k+ patterns that is invariably being improved, and AI formed picture approval algorithms for detecting violating calm in photos and videos,” says a first group — that includes CEO Ilja Terebin.

“Our 24/7 calm mediation group (8 in-house reserve experts and 30+ outsourced contractors) manually reviews user reports and equipment flagged by automation tools,” they add.

However reviews of a app that we saw enclosed complaints from users who pronounced they’ve being pestered by ‘pedophiles’ seeking for nudes — so claims of reserve risks being “solved” seem riskily overblown.

Why do teenagers need nonetheless another amicable discovery/messaging app? On that Terebin group contend a app has been tailored for Gen Z from a get-go — “focusing on their needs to consort and make new friends online, ‘quick’ calm in a form of photos and brief videos, that is loyal and personal”.

“Raw real” is another of their teen-friendly product marketplace fit claims.

F3 users get a personalized URL that they can share to other amicable networks to appeal questions from their friends — that can be asked anonymously or not. (F3 users can also select not to accept unknown questions if they prefer.)

Instead of plain calm answers users snap a print or squeeze a brief video, supplement filters, imagination fonts and backgrounds, and so on to respond in a rich-media Stories-style that’s infiltrated all amicable networking apps (most recently infecting Twitter, where it’s called Fleets).

These abounding media responses get done open on their feed — so if an F3 user chooses to answer a doubt they’re also enchanting with a wider village by default (though they can select not to respond as questions sojourn private until responded to).

Asked how F3 stands out in a really packaged and rival amicable media landscape, they disagree a app’s “uniqueness” is that a QA is print and video formed — “so a format is informed and tighten to other amicable networks (‘stories’ or ‘snaps’) yet in a QA character back-and-forth communication”, as they put it, adding that for their Gen Z aim “the old-fashioned text-based QA usually was too boring”.

“We contest for eyeballs of Gen Z with Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram. Our pivotal strength is that by a QA format one can make new friends and truly get to know other people on a personal turn by a prism of ‘raw and real’ content, that is not executive on any of those platforms,” they also claim.

In terms of many identical competitors, they note Yolo has seen “some traction” and concur there are a garland of others also charity QA. But here they disagree F3 is some-more entirely featured than rivals — suggesting a QA underline is usually a viral offshoot to get users into a wider village net.

“[F3] is a entirely organic amicable platform, built around visible communication — users have calm feed where they can perspective posts by people they follow, they can emanate photo/video calm regulating modifying collection in a app itself, there’s a follower functionality for approach chats, follow-ships, calm and user discovery. So for us, a unknown messaging/QA format is usually an entrance indicate that allows us to grow fast and get a users on a platform, yet afterwards they make new connectors and keep enchanting with their singular amicable round they have usually on F3, creation it a tolerable stand-alone amicable network.”

Again, though, user reviews tell some-more of a tender (and real?) story — with copiousness of complaints that there’s small value in a giveaway chronicle of a app (while F3 Plus costs $3.99 for 7 days; $8.99 for 1 month or $19.99 for 3 months), and questions over a flawlessness of some unknown questions, as good as complaints that other users they’re means to accommodate aren’t circuitously and/or don’t pronounce a same language. Other reviews aren’t wowed by some-more of the  same QA format. Others protest a app usually feels like a information grab. (And a F3 ‘privacy policy‘ really has a minute story to reveal vis-a-vis a tracking users are similar to, for anyone who bothers to puncture in and examination it.)

“This whole app is literally usually like all a other apps. Just another duplicate cat that we still have to compensate for,” runs one examination from Jul 2020. “Don’t download.”

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