The Washington PostThe Washington Post

The billion-dollar tech unicorn is becoming rare again

By Nitasha Tiku and Gerrit De Vynck

26 Oct 2022 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

Washington Post analyse how BeReal’s experience is representative of a new reality for tech start ups as the economy shifts.

SAN FRANCISCO - The hot social media network BeReal - which is gaining steam with young people as a casual alternative to Instagram - recently raised money, a key milestone on the path of any successful start-up.

It had all the elements of a buzzy start-up, like Snapchat, Clubhouse and Pinterest before it. It was popular with college students and even beat out social media video rival TikTok on Apple's App Store. But when a report this month confirmed how investors valued the company, it was reportedly worth in the ballpark of $600 million - far short of the "unicorn" status of more than $1 billion many of its predecessors earned in frothier times.

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