The sole function of Yo is for a user to send the word "Yo" to any other friend using the app. And yet Yo recently received $1.62m in funding, putting its valuation between $5m and $10m. This article makes the argument that Yo's valuation is not a result of a tech bubble, but that it's actually deserving of its valuation and could compete against Twitter and messaging services such as WhatsApp.
Its co-founders, Or Arbel and Moshe Hogeg, say that they were offered far more. Yo has been downloaded 2 million times, and its 50,000 or so active users have sent more than 4 million Yos. If Yo is a novelty app, it's the most successful one in history. Here's the key to Yo's successful seed round of funding, and it isn't that Silicon Valley is in some kind of late 1990s-style bubble: Yo isn't what it has been widely misconstrued to be. It isn't a messaging app, and it definitely isn't a social network -- on this point, Arbel is emphatic. It isn't even really a place to 'yo' your friends, though early adopters say they use it to let others know they are thinking of them. Yo, says Arbel, is a communications protocol. Other communications protocols you may have heard of are text messages, email and Twitter. At the risk of convincing the tech cognoscenti that I've lost my mind, I'm here to tell you that Yo -- or a Yo-like service -- is the next Twitter. It might even be bigger.