(Bloomberg) -- Lapse, a photo-sharing app that’s emerged as an alternative to Instagram, raised $30 million from investors led by Greylock Partners and DST Global Partners.

The startup plans to use the funding to hire employees in product development, engineering and design, Lapse said Tuesday. The London-based company, which didn’t disclose its valuation, also plans to add new features. 

The photo-sharing app has millions of users and is especially popular with teenagers, according to co-founder Dan Silvertown. On Lapse, users can take photos with their phone but then have to wait several hours for the pictures to “develop” — similar to the way a film camera works. The photos can then be posted to a social feed or saved privately to a journal.

“Lapse has quickly become the best way to stay up to date with what your friends are up to for an entire group and hopefully a generation of people,” said Jacob Andreou, a partner at Greylock and a former Snap Inc. executive, who is joining Lapse’s board.

Lapse is bringing fresh competition to Meta Platforms Inc.’s Instagram, which started as a way for photographers to share their work — before evolving into a social network with well over 1 billion users. Other visual-focused apps such as BeReal and Dispo have tried to compete with Instagram over the years, but have failed to reach the same scale or keep users engaged.

Meta also has a history of trying to quash its competitors through acquisitions or by copying key features. The company’s disappearing video feature called Stories was first created by Snapchat, for example. 

Lapse executives aren’t worried about that threat, they said. “The kids of tomorrow are not going to be on the existing social platforms that they are today,” Silvertown said. “As soon as someone copies us, we’ll be two steps ahead.”

Though other upstarts have failed to dent the dominance of Meta’s apps, Andreou believes that Instagram’s size may work against it. It’s become less about people and their friends and more about entertainment, he said. “There’s a huge opportunity for someone to get this right,” Andreou said.

Lapse isn’t currently focused on making money, but could add subscription services or advertising in the future, Silvertown said. The fundraising round follows one that generated $11 million in 2021, the year that Lapse launched its app. That round included GV — previously known as Google Ventures — and Octopus Ventures.

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