The Clubhouse social audio app grew rapidly before it didn’t. According to co-founder and CEO Paul Davison, it seems to be growing pretty fast again and this time better prepared for it.

Earlier this year, the number of monthly app installs worldwide had fallen by millions – from a high of over 9 million in February – to 900,000 in April. Since launching an Android version this month, Clubhouse has added a million Android users, and Davison says there are “a million more on the waiting list”.

“We hope to be ready to let more in soon,” Davison told CNBC on Tuesday after the social media company ranked 33rd on CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list in 2021.

Davison said when he and co-founder Ronan Seth started the company in March 2020, they believed that a “measured approach to growth” was key.

“If you grow too fast, things can break, and earlier this year we started growing faster than we expected,” said Davison.

In the clubhouse, servers were down and notifications kept going, and the CEO said the company had to “really slow things down”.

The clubhouse reports more than 10 million active users per week and says that more than 300,000 rooms are created every day and that users spend more than an hour a day using the app.

More coverage of the 2021 CNBC Disruptor 50

In the virtual rooms, users can see a list of the people participating. When they click the room, the audio turns on and they can hear the conversation.

“Often times, these are people in small-town America, Japan and Nigeria who have never had the opportunity to speak to people in those areas,” said Davison.

A prominent example is the more than 450,000 people who have passed through the “Meet Palestinians and Israelis” room in just over a week.

“You meet people on the spot,” emphasized Davison. “They’re not political experts, they talk to mothers, teachers and shopkeepers.”

The audio chat app for social networks Clubhouse, which is only available by invitation, will be displayed on a smartphone on January 26, 2021 in Berlin.

Thomas Trutschel | Photo library | Getty Images

The clubhouse is not just about participating in conversations and overhearing them.

It provides that money can be made with ticketing events and subscriptions in the future, and it already offers developers the opportunity to tip once. The current payments are those for which Clubhouse does not make any cuts – 100% goes to the creators on the platform. This is different from other popular creator platforms like Patreon, which ranks 48th on this year’s Disruptor 50 list and requires a reduction in revenue generated by creators as well as a transaction fee.

Currently, payments for the clubhouse must be initiated separately. When a room takes place, a user can click on a speaker’s profile. Once they have chosen to accept payments, the user will be presented with a button that says “Give Money” and the option to send 5, 10, 20, or any amount.

Clubhouse began introducing payments in April. Currently, all iOS users in the United States can send and receive payments. More Android devices and other countries will be paid this summer.

The company’s audio-only social app is similar to podcasts, but offers different, unfiltered, live content. Facebook, Twitter and Spotify have launched similar ideas and are making strategic acquisitions to capitalize on the trend. Twitter also recently introduced a tap function.

Amid concerns about the slowdown in user growth and competition from large tech companies, Davison says, “Voice is the oldest medium. … We have met and spoken with other people in small groups since the dawn of civilization. … Voice is one durable medium. “

The clubhouse was supported by well-known venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (whose co-founder also talks about the app from time to time) in a funding round in January that was reportedly worth $ 1 billion. In March, Clubhouse raised a new round of venture capital valued at $ 4 billion.

SIGN IN for our weekly original newsletter that goes beyond the list and offers a closer look at CNBC Disruptor 50 companies and the founders who continue to innovate in all sectors of the economy.