Venture Funders Flock to Religious Apps as Churches Go Online

(Bloomberg) —

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Covid-19 has upended the traditional Sunday service, taking sermons from the pulpit to the screen. It’s sparking a long overdue digital awakening for churches across the country and investors are taking notice.

The pandemic has given more people a reason to seek solace in God and faith-based communities at the same time that houses of worship were forced to close their doors. Pastors have resorted to streaming on YouTube or Facebook Live in a bid to keep congregations engaged. Membership in spiritual apps has surged. The top Christian meditation apps raked in 2.3 million downloads in the U.S. from March to August, up 325% from the same period a year earlier, according to mobile data and analytics company App Annie.

Traditionally secular venture capitalists have largely shied away from religion. In Silicon Valley, “no one wanted to touch religion five years ago” says Peter Pham, co-founder

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