Meet The People Behind the Internet’s Exclusive New Clubhouse

Sarah HallamMeet the Team
Clubhouse

The audio app is currently running its beta version on iPhones only. Editorial credit: Boumen Japet / Shutterstock.com

Clubhouse has already risen to dizzying new social media heights and has the whole internet talking. The live voice-chat app lets users join in on various different conversations, simulating large in-person conferences hosted by speakers like Elon Musk, as well as more niche discussions like “women who sew.”

Currently still running its invite-only beta version, Clubhouse recently scored a $100 million dollar investment round led by Andersson Horowitz in January, launching it straight to unicorn status with a rumored valuation at $1 billion. Pretty groundbreaking considering it launched last year in March.

There hasn’t been a social media app causing this sort of frenzy in years, and Silicon Valley has its eyeballs on it. Twitter has already started rolling out its own version called Spaces, and Facebook is working on a new product that would also use live audio.

Despite its unicorn status, a small, but mighty team is behind the audio app that has taken the internet by storm. Check out the people behind the internet’s exclusive new clubhouse.

Clubhouse OC

Clubhouse is betting on the power of voice. Co-founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth wanted to build a place where ideas could be exchanged and discussed without users having to worry about what they’re currently wearing or doing. It’s also the social media project both have been individually dreaming of building for over a decade.

The two first met back in 2011 through a mutual friend and instantly bonded over a shared love for social media products that helped connect people with mutual interests. Davison had just founded Highlight, a mobile ambient-awareness app that alerted users anytime a Facebook friend was nearby. Rohan was working as an engineer at Google and would later go on to develop Memry Labs, a group that developed social media apps for clients that later acquired by Opendoor.

Their paths crossed again in 2019 when the two connected over a project Rohan was working on to help his daughter, Lydia, who was born with a rare genetic disease. After ten years of working on individual projects in social media, the two Stanford grads decided to team up and give social media one more shot by launching Clubhouse.

As Clubhouse reaches two million users per day and counting, a small group with packed resumes continue to innovate for the app’s future.

Davison brings a long background working in social media to the team as co-founder and CEO. After Highlight was acquired by Pinterest back in 2016, Davison worked on Pinterest’s product team for two years before leaving to help scale CoinList as an advisor.

An early team member of Google’s mobile team for Android, Seth brings a strong background in mobile engineering as he leads the Product and Engineering team. Reporting to Seth is fellow Google alum Mohammad Almalkawi, who most recently worked as Principal Engineer at Coinbase. Software Engineer Luke Demi also comes to the Clubhouse team from Coinbase, though he most recently worked at DoorDash for six months. As Clubhouse is currently only available on iPhones, Mopewa Ogundipe is working on the highly-anticipated Android version of the app as the Android Engineer. She brings over three years of engineering experience at Medium to the team.

Leading the charge on creator success and programming for the app is Stephanie Simon. Simon works as the Head of Community and Content is paving the way at Clubhouse to bring a defined A&R role to the tech world and brings creative knowledge from her role of fashion consultant at Gucci.

Clubhouse is only continuing to expand and overseeing this talent search is Michelle Tang. Tang joined Clubhouse in February 2021 after three years working in talent, people and recruiting roles at Mystery.org.

While Clubhouse still isn’t available to the general public yet, Davison and Seth have both said they hope to get a widely-available version out to the public soon. In the meantime, users can download the app to join the waitlist to get in.

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