There are signs that the buzz around Clubhouse is already fading — but investors aren't deterred


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TWTRTSLAFBClubhouse Drop-in audio chat app logo on the App Store is seen displayed on a phone screen in this illustration photo taken in Poland on February 21, 2021.Jakub Porzycki | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Audio app Clubhouse was all the rage earlier this year, but there are signs that the buzz around it is starting to dissipate.

In February, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hopped onto Clubhouse within a few days of each other, as the social chat app started to take off.

Musk even asked Russian President Vladimir Putin if he wanted to join him for a conversation on the platform. Fast forward to today, however, and some of the hype appears to have vanished.

The invite-only iPhone app, which celebrated its first birthday last month, allows users to find and listen to conversations between groups of people. It was quickly embraced by Silicon Valley types and it was backed by well-known venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (whose co-founder speaks on the app from time-to-time) in a January funding round that reportedly valued it at $1 billion.

On Sunday, Clubhouse confirmed Andreessen has led a new series C funding round after The Information broke the news on Friday. The latest round of investment, which includes new backers DST Global and Tiger Global Management, reportedly values the company at $4 billion. But investors appear to be more bullish than many of the app’s users.

While some people were desperate to get a Clubhouse invite, some users who are already on the platform are failing to see the long-term appeal. Clubhouse, which was founded in April 2020 by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth, did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.

“I think the initial FOMO about getting a Clubhouse invite and trying it out has ebbed away,” social media analyst Matt Navarra told CNBC.

One of the main gripes with Clubhouse is that there’s a lack of relevant talks, or rooms, that users see when they open the app.

“I tried to get into it for a bit, but the only rooms it was showing me were run by the kinds