SoftBank and Celebrities Support Funding for Faith-Based App


The SoftBank Group Corp logo is displayed at the SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan on July 20, 2017. REUTERS / Issei Kato

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LONDON, December 2 (Reuters) – Christian worship and meditation app Glorify has raised $ 40 million from investors including SoftBank (9984.T), venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and star of the reality TV show Kris Jenner, the company announced Thursday.

Founded in the UK in 2020, the app delivers faith-based meditation to subscribers via inspirational quotes, worship routines and short quotes from the Bible.

Although the amount raised is small compared to the hundred million dollars regularly invested by large funds in growing companies, Glorify is one of the many Christian applications that have developed in recent years, tapping into traditional sources of funding.

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The app has around 250,000 daily users, mostly in the United States and Brazil.

The fundraiser was led by Andreessen Horowitz, known as “a16z”. SoftBank’s Latin America fund also contributed.

Famous investors include Kris Jenner and singers Michael Buble and Jason Derulo.

“There is an incredible ecosystem of Christian investors in the United States,” said Ed Beccle, who founded Glorify with Henry Costa.

Beccle said he was looking for investors whose values ​​matched those of the company, although not all of them were necessarily Christians.

“The Christian community is both incredibly social and global, but has always been underserved by new technologies,” said Connie Chan, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “Glorify is changing that.”

The growth of Christian apps was at stake before the pandemic, especially in the United States, but demand has skyrocketed recently as lockdowns limit the ability of people to visit physical churches.

Christian apps that have been created over the past few years and established themselves include one called Abide and another called Pray.

A Catholic prayer app called Hallow said earlier this month it had raised more than $ 50 million in funding in 2021, from investors including Peter Thiel, with growth being accelerated by the pandemic.

Glorify said the money raised will be used to expand the team from its current workforce of around 60 and establish new offices around the world.

The app also aims to establish an online community that allows for deeper engagement with faith-based content “rather than the superficial mass engagement you’ll typically see on traditional social media,” Beccle said.

“In a fun way I migrate communities from one place to another so I look at generic social networks like Instagram, Facebook (FB.O) and so on, I see they have hundreds of communities very engaged and try to create a context specific place for them.

Going forward, the app could include features like Christian dating and church and donation management tools, Beccle said.

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Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft; Editing by Susan Fenton

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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