September 27, 2016
An Israeli startup sold its controversial messaging app and music radio app to a Chinese consortium in a deal worth $32 million, according to media reports. The Blindspot app will be bought for $28 million and Chinese radio app Mr. C. for another $4 million, according to Channel 2 news.
The Blindspot app allows users to send anonymous messages, photos and videos to their contacts without the receiver being able to trace it. Launched in December 2015, the app has already had over 2 million downloads, but has drawn charges of being a platform for anonymous bullying.
The Israeli firm behind Blindspot, called Shellanoo Group, called it “a wacky anonymous messaging app that gives people the opportunity to say what they really feel.”
The Blindspot team will remain in Israel for the next year, the Huffington Post reported, and will then move operations to Asia.
The app is a key part of the Shellanoo Group, which is funded in part by investments from global celebrities, including music stars will.i.am and Nicki Minaj, as well as Jewish Russian billionaire and owner of Chelsea football club Roman Abramovich.
The Chinese consortium which purchased Blindspot includes Hong Kong investment firms Wuhan Capital Ltd, Tianjin Games (Hong Kong) Ltd., and a group of investors led by William Ding founder of Chinese internet giant Netease, Huffington Post reported.
Despite its success, the app has been extremely controversial, with accusations of teen bullying and harassment.
The app works like other social networking channels such as Whatsapp, with users able to chat, send pictures and videos. But the identity of the sender remains anonymous.