On February 29th, 2016–that’s Leap Day–the team members behind Meerkat secretly launched a new live-streaming app. Rather than pitch reporters or spend money on ads to promote it, they opted to just put the app in the App Store and see what happened. To help keep their identity secret and avoid potential coverage, they identified the developer using a pseudonym rather than credit Alexander Herzick, who happens to be the husband of the app’s cofounder, Sima Sistani .
Business Insider confirmed that that the company had raised $50 million from leading venture firm Sequoia, beating out other investors interested in the deal, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the raise. The company’s previous investors, including Greylock Partners, Aleph, and Comcast Ventures participated in the round. Houseparty’s CEO Ben Rubin didn’t return a request for comment.