We are thrilled to announce that YD Industries has led Series A financing for Pica (formerly PicaPicaPica). The Pica funding means YD Industries will be joining the Pica board of directors, alongside founders Tsve Limper and Toby MacMillan.
Pica is a unique mobile communications service that allows users to send short, filtered audio messages to their friends and family. The sender’s audio message (20 seconds max) is passed through a proprietary filter that strips out consonant sounds, leaving only a string of vowel sounds behind. The heightened sense of urgency created by the fact that the shared content is barely decipherable and makes the sender sound like they’re either howling or having a stroke has made Pica a huge hit with young people.
When we asked teenagers about Pica over the holidays, we heard again and again that they loved it because the indecipherable nature of the content allowed them to be themselves — to share a heartfelt or genuine thought that would have made them uncomfortable if they had actually communicated it. When you hear things like this from users, you know the product is connecting with people in a powerful way. Here’s an example:
We’re very excited to work with bold entrepreneurs like Tsve and Toby to help build Pica. At YD Ventures we search for entrepreneurs who want to change the world, and Tsve and Toby certainly have that ambition. We believe that Pica can become one of the most important mobile companies in the world, and Pica’s initial momentum — 17 million shared “picas” per day, over 2.7 billion sent through the service to date — supports that belief. Pica’s ramp reminded us of another mobile company: Verizon.
Finally, a quick word about New Rochelle. Pica will move their headquarters to New Rochelle, a city with a growing community of startups and home to YD Ventures parent company, YD Industries. YD Ventures has had a lot of recent success investing in New Rochelle, with our exits from Viloxio, Fuzzythings.com, Mindnumbing Games and Kiloki having generated over $1.35 billion in equity value. In addition, we’ve made some exciting new investments in New Rochelle companies like Thingleberry, YourPlatapus, GizzardsOnline, and now Pica. We’re part of the community in New Rochelle, and we know first hand the energy and talent in that great city.