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David Dobrik 2021 Spark Capital decides to “sever all ties” with 39;s Dispo .

David Dobrik 2021 Spark Capital decides to “sever all ties” with 39;s Dispo .

David Dobrik 2021 Spark Capital decides to “sever all ties” with 39;s Dispo .

David Dobrik David Dobrik ties” Spark Dispo decides 's with … Capital “sever all to

Mon, 22 Mar 2021 03:00:00 -0700

Venture capital firm Spark Capital has decided to 'sever all ties' with Dispo, a photo-sharing app co-created by famous YouTuber David Dobrik

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The move 

Venture capital firm Spark Capital has decided to ‘sever all ties’ with Dispo, a photo-sharing app co-created by famous YouTuber David Dobrik.

The move, announced by the firm late Sunday, was triggered by a recent investigation by Business Insider that exposed allegations from a woman who said that a member of Dobrik’s Vlog Squad sexually assaulted her.

“In light of recent news about the Vlog Squad and David Dobrik, the cofounder of Dispo, we have made the decision to sever all ties with the company,” Spark Capital tweeted.

“We have stepped down from our position on the board and we are in the process of making arrangements to ensure we do not profit from our recent investment in Dispo.

1/ In light of recent news about the Vlog Squad and David Dobrik, the cofounder of Dispo, we have made the decision to sever all ties with the company.

— Spark Capital (@sparkcapital) March 22, 2021

Hours later, Dobrik stepped down from the board of Dispo, as first reported by The Information.

Dispo, in a statement to TechCrunch, said the following: “David has chosen to step down from the board and leave the company to not distract from the company’s growth.

Dispo’s team, product, and most importantly- our community- stand for building a diverse, inclusive, and empowering world.”

Spark Capital’s decision to step back from the Dispo investment feels like a first of its kind, and if not, rare.

It could trigger other investors with stakes in the company to do the same.

Spark Capital led a Series A in Dispo, a $20 million dollar financing event that valued the company at $200 million, less than one month ago.

The current statement by Spark does not indicate that the investment has been pulled from the company.

Spark Capital did not immediately respond to request for comment in regards to what this process would look like, and if the shares will be sold back to the company or to another buyer.

While the mechanics of the decision are unclear, the fact that the firm led a deal so recently in the company may have given it some leeway to walk away.

Unshackled Ventures, a firm that backs immigrant founders, was an early investor in Dispo and declined to comment on the record.

Seven Seven Six, an early-stage venture capital firm founded by Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian, led the seed round and was unable to be reached for comment.

Other sponsors of Dobrik, including HelloFresh and Dollar Shave Club, have ended their partnerships with the creator.

Update: This story has been updated to reflect Dobrik’s departure from Diispo.

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David Dobrik David Dobrik

Mon, 22 Mar 2021 03:00:00 -0700

YouTube star David Dobrik has left the photo app he co-founded, Dispo, amid controversy as allegations of assault by Dobrik's Vlog Squad crew emerge

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Influencer turned app founder David Dobrik has stepped down from his role at Dispo, as investors cut ties with the photo app over controversy linked to Dobrik’s circle of YouTubers.

The Information reported just before midnight Sunday, Pacific time, that Dobrik would be leaving the company he co-founded and has been the face of since its launch. 

The news came just a few hours after venture capital firm Spark Capital, who led initial investment in the app, announced on Twitter that it would “sever all ties” with Dispo and “[make] arrangements to ensure” it would not profit from its investment in the app.

Here’s Dispo’s full statement: “David has chosen to step down from the board and leave the company to not distract from the company’s growth.

Dispo’s team, product, and most importantly- our community- stand for building a diverse, inclusive, and empowering world.”

— Kate Clark (@KateClarkTweets) March 22, 2021

Dispo is a photo creation and sharing app designed to mimic the aesthetic — and delayed-gratification aspect — of disposable film cameras.

The app moved out of its invite-only beta stage earlier in March this year, after raising $20 million in Series A funding led by Spark in February on top of $4 million from Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian’s SevenSevenSix last year.

Mashable has reached out to Dispo for comment.

The company issued identical statements to reporters from TechCrunch and The Information, saying: “David has chosen to step down from the board and leave the company to not distract from the company’s growth.

Dispo’s team, product, and most importantly- our community- stand for building a diverse, inclusive, and empowering world.”

Dobrik is currently under fire over allegations of assault levelled at members of his wildly popular creator collective, known as the Vlog Squad. 

Insider reported last week that a young woman alleges she was sexually assaulted by Squad member Dom Zeglaitis during a video shoot in 2018.

And Joseth “Seth” Francois, the only Black member of the Squad until he left in 2019, told Buzzfeed earlier this year that a “prank” where he was tricked into kissing a disguised member of the squad was actually assault as he didn’t consent to kissing that person, and has also spoken about experiencing racist and culturally insensitive “jokes” during his time as a member of the collective. 

In a video posted on March 16, Dobrik apologised specifically to Francois, and expressed “[disappointment] with some of [his] friends,” saying he does not “stand for any kind of misconduct”.

Comments on the video, titled “Let’s Talk”, were disabled.

A number of brands have ended partnerships or deals with Dobrik since the Vlog Squad allegations have come to light.

This story is developing…

If you have experienced sexual abuse, call the free, confidential National Sexual Assault hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), or access the 24-7 help online by visiting online.rainn.org.

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– March 22, 2021

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