A 22-year-old took a crazy idea from spring break and turned it into a company trying to raise $2 million
In the latest fusion of music and social media, a new app has emerged that allows users — mostly college and high school students — to quickly share their freestyle raps.
It’s called Rapchat, and over 4.5 million raps
Seth Miller, Rapchat’s cofounder and CEO, was a college junior on spring break in Florida when he realized the enormous potential that social media held in the area of freestyle rap. After speaking with a professor, Miller and his cofounder Brandon Logan took the idea to Startup Weekend, a competition in Athens, Ohio, where two dozen entrepreneurs present their ideas.
Will HaskellRapchat allows users to record and share their raps via text, Facebook and TwitterHere’s how Rapchat works (it’s incredibly simple):
1. Users select a beat from over 50 options.
2. They press record and freestyle over their selected beat for less than a minute.
3. The ‘Share’ button allows them to share their rap via text, Twitter or Facebook.
Rapchat won the first prize at Startup Weekend, taking home $1,000.
Logan and Miller used that money to pay Casey Capps, a business systems engineer at Ohio University, to build the app. Rapchat was up and running by July 2014, shortly after Miller graduated from college and began working at an insurance agency in Ohio.
But it was when Rapchat added a function to more easily facilitate the sharing of raps in late 2014 that the platform blew up.
Since January, Rapchat has gained massive popularity with teens and 20-somethings. It saw 430,000 downloads in 2015 — all without a paid campus-ambassador program or advertising strategy. Miller quit his job and now works full time as Rapchat’s CEO.
The team, which originally consisted of Seth Miller, Max Yankee, and Brandon Logan, has grown into a team of 12, divided between marketing, iOS development, and web development. Miller and the lead programmer, Sam Marshall, are the only full-time employees. Although Capps and Yankee are no longer involved in Rapchat, Logan serves as the creative director.
Up GlobalMax Yankee, Seth Miller, and Brandon Logan
The rapchat team been completely bootstrapped since winning the $1,000 prize in 2013. They’ll be reaching out to investors in July to raise a seed round between $500,000 and $2,000,000.
Rapchat has spread organically through groups of friends and sports teams. From the swim team at Middlebury University to a handful of friends in Norway, Rapchat has attracted millions of amateur rappers eager to record freestyle raps about their lives and share it with their friends. “Some of out most popular raps consist of high-school girls gossiping about boys or football players roasting other teammates,” Miller explained.
Here is what some twitter users have to say about the app:
RAPCHAT IS THE GREATEST THING TO EVER HAPPEN TO ME