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Anonymous App After School Raises $16.4 Million One Year After App Store Ban

After School raised a sizable round despite nearly running itself off the road.

What a difference a year can make. One year ago, anonymous messaging app After School was in the middle of a four-month-long ban from Apple’s App Store for violating the company’s safety guidelines.

Now After School is alive and well, and cashing a really big check.

The company, which has an app for high school students to post anonymously to their classmates, raised $16.4 million in a new round of venture funding led by Accomplice. The round includes other investors like Cowboy Ventures and individuals like Parse co-founder Tikhon Bernstam and AngelList founder Naval Ravikant.

The funding is noteworthy considering that this time last year it looked as though After School might be left for dead. That’s because the app was bombarded with users shortly after launch and before it had built any safety or reporting features; high school students took advantage of the anonymity to bully and threaten one another, which caused a media frenzy driven by concerned parents and school administrators.

The App Store then removed After School for violating the “personal attacks” and “objectionable content” categories from its safety guidelines. The app was down for almost four months before new safety measures were implemented, including human curators who read every post.

But that was last year. After School has since recruited a Safety Board to advise its founders on security and anti-bullying issues, and it added as an official partner as part of Wednesday’s announcement, a volunteer organization for young people. The first partnership effort is around a campaign to get students “posting positive messages to boost the self-esteem of their peers,” according to an announcement shared with Re/code.

It’s hard to tell if the App Store hiatus hurt After School’s growth. It doesn’t appear to have been too damaging, though, considering After School raised a sizable round despite nearly running itself off the road.

The company doesn’t break out user figures, and co-founder Cory Levy isn’t sharing its new valuation. But he is sharing that Dustin Dolginow from Accomplice is joining the company’s board of directors.

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