February 3, 2022

Top 27 Creator Economy Investors And VC Firms In 2022

Contents

In 2021 the creator economy went to extreme highs with an estimated $3.7 billion invested in creator-oriented startups in the US.

This can be attributed to the rapid growth of the creator economy and the influx of new and innovative startups. According to SignalFire (Investment Firm), the creator economy has over 50 million creators to date. And at this rate, it is estimated that investments can hit $5 billion in 2022!

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This article lists the top investors and VCs that are funding the creator economy right now.

Next 10 Ventures

Next 10 Ventures was founded in 2018 by CEO and founder Benjamin Grubbs and it supports seed stage startups in the creator economy.

According to Insider Next 10 Ventures has backed more than a handful of startups at the pre-seed and seed stage, with 70% of the portfolio having closed up-rounds, 40% have closed  A series rounds and 15% have been acquired in the last year.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • SuperBam
  • Podcorn
  • Influence.co
  • Stir
  • Kollyde
  • Koji

Next 10 Ventures Funds:

  • Fund I ($50M)

Team:

  • Benjamin Grubbs (founder and CEO) was a global directory for creator partnerships at YouTube for almost 15 years before starting Next 10 Ventures. With the knowledge he acquired he started his investment fund which strictly focuses on the creator economy. His portfolio includes companies like: Popcorn, Koji, Stage Ten, and Superbam. He also co-founded two startups focused on working with creators: Creator+ and Kollyde.
  • Adam Lurie joined Next 10 Ventures in 2018 as the second employee. He has been shaping their portfolio ever since, and is one of the voices shaping perspectives in the creator economy.
  • Cyntia So Shroeder (Vice President)

Index Ventures

Index Ventures is a VC investment firm that has been around since 1996, and has $6.83 billion assets under management. The principal of Index Ventures – Rex Woodbury is also an influencer with 230k Instagram followers, and has a newsletter about internet culture. Being one himself, he understands the struggles of creators and influencers in the economy very well.

And that’s exactly where he specializes. His first ever investment at Index Ventures was Creative Juice (creative juice has a $5 million investment fund – Juice Funds which invests directly into creators themselves in exchange for a cut of their future earnings)

Danny Rimer (partner) joined Index in 2002 and established the firm’s office in London. He has worked on investments in creator focused companies like Discord, Patreon and Dubsmash.

Index Ventures investments in the creator economy:

  • Gather
  • Fanbase
  • Discord
  • Patreon
  • Dubsmash
  • Creative Juice
  • Sanlo

Index Ventures Investors:

  • Danny Rimer
  • Rex Woodbury
  • Mark Goldberg
  • Shardul Shah
  • Sally Appleton
  • Katharina Wihelm
  • Andrianna Ma
  • Julia Andre
  • Vojtech Horna
  • Bryan Offut
  • Sofia Dolfe

Andreessen Horowitz

Andreessen Horowitz is a VC firm that made some very successful investments on creator economy startups. The firm most recently funded Substack and Clubhouse (valued at $4 billion).

The company also funds early stage startups like Pietra, a startup company that is helping creators create their own products.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Clubhouse
  • Substack
  • Pietra
  • Rally
  • Maven
  • Roblox
  • Teespring

Andreessen Horowitz recently announced funds:

  • AH Bio Fund IV ($1.5B)
  • AH Fund VIII ($2.5B)
  • Andreessen Horowitz Growth Fund III ($5B)
  • Seed Stage Fund ($400M)
  • AH Crypto Fund III ($2.2B)
  • AH Fund VII ($3.2B)
  • Talent x Opportunity Fund ($2.2M)
  • AH Crypto Fund II ($515M)
  • AH Bio Fund III ($750M)

Andreessen Horowitz team and investors:

  • Marc Andreessen (co-founder and general partner)
  • Andrew Chen (general partner) is one of the most well spoken individuals in the creator space. He has worked on investments like Clubhouse, Substack and Maven in the firm.
  • Connie Chan (general partner) has worked on deals with companies such as NewNew, Beacons, and Run The World. She is one of the most knowledgeable individuals in the Asian influencer scene, which is years ahead of the space in the US.
  • Chris Dixon has a focus on seed and early stage startups at the firm. He has made investments in NFTs and Web3 projects like Rally, Opensea, and Foundation  as he is in the firm’s crypto sector.

Inspired Capital

Alexa Von Tobel (managing partner at Inspired Capital) has a background in fintech. She is the founder of LearnVest (a fintech startup that raised $350 million in 2015) and has written two books on the subject of fintech.

She also invested in Creative Juice through her $200 million early-stage fund – Inspired Capital. The fund also supported the pre-seed round of Geneva, a social media startup company that has raised $22m from investors like Li Jin and Coatue.

Inspired Capital funds raised:

  • Inspired Capital Partners II ($281M)
  • Inspired Capital Partners I ($200M)

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Creative Juice
  • Geneva

Inspired Capital team:

  • Lucy Deland
  • Kamran Ali
  • Charlotte Ross
  • Alexa von Tobel
  • Mark Batsiyan
  • Penny Pritzker
  • Chris Brown

Intonation Ventures

Intonation Ventures is a consumer VC fund with offices in New York and Beijing.

The firm supports early stage founders in the US and all stages in China.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Stadium Live
  • Boomy
  • Pipeline
  • Astro

Intonation Ventures team:

  • Zibo Gao (partner) founded the firm in 2020, and has been focused on the Gen-Z market ever since. Before Intonation he worked as a consultant at Strategy& and as a banker at Raine Group.

Ludlow Ventures

Ludlow Ventures is a VC firm based in Detroit that has invested in 100 Thieves (a gaming and lifestyle brand which is also backed by Drake and Scooter Braun).

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Stir
  • 100 Thieves
  • Stream Labs
  • Hooked
  • YouTooz
  • Brud

Ludlow Ventures funds:

  • Ludlow Ventures Detroit II-A ($15M)
  • Ludlow Ventures Detroit II II ($45M)
  • Ludlow Ventures II ($45M)
  • Ludlow Ventures I LP ($15)

Team:

MaC Venture Capital

MaC is a VC firm that prioritizes seed stage companies in tech and media. The company was founded in 2019 and is a  merger cross M ventures and Nichol’s Cross Culture Capital.

Mac Venture Capital invests in creator economy companies like Brud as well as digital media companies like Blavity.

Co-founder Marlon Nichols was an investment director at Intel Capital before he cofounded MaC Venture Capital. Nichols early investments include Gimlet Media, a podcast company that was bought by Spotify in 2019, and PlayVS, a startup that organizes esports events and tournaments for high schoolers and college students.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • PlayVs
  • Brud
  • Brat TV
  • Faze Clan
  • Genies
  • Locker Room

MaC funds:

  • MaC Venture Capital Seed Fund I ($103M)
  • MAC Entertainment Tech Fund
  • MaC VC 2019
  • M Ventures Fund II
  • M Ventures FUnd I
  • Cross Culture Ventures I ($13.7M)

Team:

  • Marlon Nichols (co-founder and managing partner) was an investment director at Intel Capital before confounding MaC.
  • Charles King (co-founder and special general partner)
  • Alyson DeNardo (partner)
  • Troy Carter (limited partner / adviser)
  • Sean Park (CFO)
  • Adrian Fenty (managing general partner)
  • Danny Brown (partner)
  • Suzy Ryoo (partner)
  • Micheal Palank (general partner)

Acrew Capital

Acrew Capital is an investment founded in 2019. The scout and ambassador program lead in the firm, John Smothers has been supporting companies in the creator economy like Buy Me a Coffee and Rosebud.ai.

Investments in  the creator economy:

  • Buy me a Coffee
  • Rosebud.ai
  • Motif.land
  • Homebase.io
  • Lolly
  • Loverboy

Acrew Capital Funds:

  • Acrew Capital I ($380)
  • Acrew Diversify Capital Fund ($300M)
  • Acrew Capital Fund I ($250M)

Acrew Capital Team:

  • Theresia Gouw (founding partner)
  • Vishal Lugani (founding partner)
  • John Smothers (investor)
  • Mark Kraynak (founding partner)
  • Sukhinder Singh (founding venture partner)
  • Kim Jabal (limited partner)
  • Asad Khaliq (founding partner)
  • Lauren Kolodny (founding partner)

Atelier Ventures

Atelier Ventures is an investment firm founded by Li Jin, which mainly supports early stage creator economy startups.

Even though the firm was founded in 2020 it has already become one of the biggest players in the creator economy. Li’s strategy is based on funding companies that are part of the passion economy. She sets her sights on the “middle class” of the creator economy and supports companies that are building solutions and products for creators that may not be big and well established.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Substack
  • Stir
  • Pearpop
  • Patreon
  • Beacons

Atelier Ventures team:

  • Li Jin (founder)

Chapter One Ventures

Chapter One Ventures is an investment firm that was founded in 2017, and it is backing some of the largest players in the creator economy.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Cameo
  • Maven
  • Pearpop
  • Fanhouse
  • Circle Dapper Labs

Chapter One Ventures funds:

  • Chapter One Early Stage Fund ($40M)
  • TU Fund I

Chapter One Ventures team:

  • Jeff Morris Jr (founding partner) invested in NFT startup Dapper Labs (CruptoKitties, NBA Top Shot). The company was valued at $7.5 billion just a few years later.
  • Anand Iyer (LP)

Night Ventures

Night Ventures is the early-stage fund of Night Media (a management firm for creators that manages some of the top creators like YouTuber MrBeast).

Night Ventures focuses on early-stage investments in fintech, crypto, SaaS, and health.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Beacons
  • Pearpop
  • Zora
  • Bitski
  • Tensil

Night Ventures team:

  • Reed Duchscher (general partner)
  • Erza Cooperstein (general partner)
  • Ben Mathews (general partner)

Seven Seven Six

Seven Seven Six is an investment firm founded by the co-founder of Reddit Alexis Ohanian. The firm has made some big moves and invested in seed stage startups in the creator economy:

  • Pearpop
  • Discpo
  • Clash

Seven Seven Six funds:

  • Seven Seven Six Fund 2 ($100M)
  • Seven Seven Six Fund 1 ($150M)

Seven Seven Six team:

  • Alexis Ohanian (founder and general partner) is best known as the cofounder of Reddit. He also cofounded investment firm Initialized Capital.
  • Katelin Holloway (founding partner) was head of people and culture at Reddit, and was also an operating partner at Initialized Capital before she joined Seven Seven Six.
  • Elisabeth Garvin (founding chief of staff)
  • Hiram Vazquez (operating partner)
  • Travis Mason (operating partner)
  • Cristina Apple Georgoulaki (operating partner)

SignalFire

Signal Fire is an investment firm founded in 2013 that focuses on supporting companies between seed and series B stages of financing.

The firm is a big investor in Clubhouse, a social audio app. The principal of Clubhouse Josh Constine is an influencer himself with more than 4 million followers.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Clubhouse
  • Karat
  • RedCircle

Signal Fire funds:

  • Signalfire Breakout Fund II ($300M)
  • Signalfire Fund III ($200M)
  • SIGNALFIRE AFFILIATES FUND III
  • SIGNALFIRE AFFILIATES BERAKOUT FUND II ($300M)
  • SIGNALFIRE FUND II ($101.6M)
  • Seed Fund ($53M)

Signalfire Team:

  • Chris Farmer (founder and CEO)
  • Wayne Hu (head of seed stage investments)
  • Yuanling Yuan (VP)
  • Josh Constine (principal and head of content)
  • Taylor Barada (venture partner)
  • Walter Kortschak (executive chairman and CIO)
  • Alex Garden (venture partner)
  • Micheal Mangini (partner and head of talent)
  • Jonathan Downey (scout investor)
  • Rikhil Bajaj (principal)
  • Ellen Blix (partner and head of relations)
  • Oana Olteanu (partner)
  • Yuriy Groysman ( partner)
  • Adam Vogel (partner data science)
  • Wayne Hu (partner)
  • Ross Mason (venture partner)

Slow Ventures

Slow Ventures was started in 2009 by a Facebook employee Dave Morin, and was originally supported by five Facebook alumni.

The firm has made over 300 seed stage investments in startups in the creator economy. Now the firm is also experimenting with investing in creators themselves. It was recently announced that the firm would give $20 million to creators upfront in exchange for a percentage of their future profits.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Pearpop
  • Breakr
  • Creative Juice
  • Shagmag
  • Direct Creator Investment Fund

Slow Ventures funds:

  • Slow Ventures Opportunity Fund I ($55M)
  • Slow Ventures IV ($165M)
  • Slow Ventures III ($145M)
  • Slow Ventures IV, L.P. ($65M)

Slow Ventures team:

  • Scott Marlette (founder)
  • Sam Lessin (founder and general partner)
  • Clay Robbins (principal)
  • Kevin Colleran (managing director)
  • Will Quist (partner)
  • Jill Carlson (principal)
  • Allie Wagner (marketing)

Starting Line

Starting Line was founded by Ezra Galston in 2018 and is a Chicago based venture capital fund that invests in consumer startups and brands.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Cameo
  • Substack
  • Soona
  • Kapwing.

Starting Line funds:

  • Fund II ($30M)
  • Fund I ($17M)
  • Starting Line Fund II


Starting line team:

  • Erza Galston (founder and principal) has invested in creator focused startups like Cameo (pre-seed round). He also spent six years at Chicago Ventures  as an intern and working up to principal before Starting Line.
  • Ade Olonoh (venture partner) is an angel investor with a focus on startups that support creators. He is a seed investor in Substack.
  • Kevin Willer (investor)
  • Haley Zollo (principal)

UTA Ventures

Uta Ventures is led by Sam Wich who has worked in the influencer space for over a decade. UTA Ventures is a division of United Talent Agency that supports business in various divisions of the agency.

Some of these businesses were developed for influencer clients like Blippi, Charlie and Dixie D’Amelio, Rhett and Link, Smosh, The Try Guys, R=Alisha Marie, Remi Cruz, and others.

UTA Ventures also partnered with YouTuber Emma Chamberlain (9 million subscribers) for her coffee product, Chamberlain Coffee.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Ramble
  • Cloud9
  • Pocket.Watch
  • Masterclass
  • Jumprope
  • Frolic
  • Patreon

UTA Ventures team:

  • Caroline Jabocs (executive)
  • Andrew Sulvester (associate)
  • Kosha Shah (executive)
  • Clinton Foy (general partner)
  • Jeremy Zimmer (chief executive officer and board member)

Worklife

Worklife is a VC firm that strictly focuses on creators. It was founded by Brianne Kimmel in 2019, and is backed by investors such as Marc Andreesen and Alexis Ohanian. The startup investments are led by Kimmel, with investments in startups like seven unicorns and Clubhouse.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Clubhouse
  • Public
  • Deel
  • Webflow
  • Pipe
  • Hopin

Worklife Ventures team:

  • Brianne Kimmel (founder and managing partner)

BBG Ventures

BBG Ventures is a VC firm that focuses on making early-stage investments in companies that have at least one female founder.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Mighty Networks
  • Trash
  • Squad

BBG Ventures funds:

  • BBG Ventures III ($50M)
  • BBG Fund ($10M)

BBG Ventures Team:

  • Susan Lyne (general partner and co-founder)
  • Nisha Dua (general partner and co-founder)

Box Group

Box Group invested in multiple social networking companies and creator-based startups like Brat TV, Byte (a short-form video app), and Clubhouse.

Box group invests in pre-seed and seed rounds of financing for early-stage startups, with a primary focus on tech companies.


Investments in the creator economy:

  • Brat TV
  • Byte
  • Clubhouse

Box Group funds:

  • BoxGroup Strive ($127.5M)
  • BoxGroup Five ($127.5M)
  • BoxGroup More ($82.5)
  • Seed Fund ($82.5M)
  • BoxGroup Four ($82.5M)
  • Opportunity Fund ($82.5M)

Box Group Team:

  • David Tisch (founder and managing partner)
  • Adam Rothenberg (partner)
  • Adina Davis (investor)
  • Geg Rosen (venture partner)
  • Claire Smilow (principal)

Darren Lachtman and Rob Fishman

Darren Lachtman and Rob Fishman are angel investors in the creator economy. They run Brat TV (an influencer driven studio) while also investing in companies within the economy.

Brat Tv mainly focuses on creating shows for it’s YouTube Channel with more than 5 million subscribers. Chicken Girls and Attaway General are their most popular ones, they feature top social media influencers across YouTube, Instagram and Tiktok.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Creator I!
  • 6tudio
  • QuickFrame.

CRV

CRV is a VC firm that is currently investing out of a $600 million fund. It was founded in 1970 and was formerly known as Charles River Ventures.

Justine and Olivia are two venture investors at CRV that focus on seed-stage and Series A stage companies. They graduated from Stanford in 2016 and co-founded the university’s Cardinal Ventures student startup incubator. In CRV the two sisters invested in Kapwig, an online video, image, and gif editing tool for creators.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Kapwig
  • Patreon
  • Twitter

CRV’s most recent funds:

  • CRV XVIII ($600M)
  • Fund XVII ($600M)

CRV team and investors:

  • Dave Salvant (founder)
  • Songe LaRon (co founder)
  • Vivan Cheng (principal
  • Matthew Garratt (general partner)
  • Kate Murdock (investor)

Floodgate

Floodgate is a VC firm that mainly invests in early-stage tech companies. The firm has raised over $400 million in funds.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Mighty Networks
  • Twitch
  • Twitter

Floodgate recent funds:

  • Floodgate Fund VI ($131M)
  • Floodgate Fund V ($75.8M)
  • Floodgate fund IV ($75M)

Floodgate team and investors:

  • Mike Maples Jr. was a founder and operating executive at startups including Tivoli Systems and Motive before becoming a full time investor. He led the firms’ investments in Twitter and Twitch.tv.
  • Miura-Ko led Flood Gates investment in Mighty Networks, Before joining the firm Miuria-Ko worked at Charles River Ventures and McKinsey and Company.
  • Lori Hoover Simotas (COO and CFO)
  • Arjun Chopra (partner)
  • Shawn Xu (senior associate)
  • Iris Choi (partner)
  • Tyler Whittle (senior associate)
  • Leeor Mushin (senior associate)

Kevin Gould

Kevin Gould founded and is CEO at the creator focused investment company Kombo Ventures in 2012. He also co-founded several influencer focused companies like Insert Name Here, Wakeheart, and Glamnetic

Recently he worked with YouTubers Ethan and Grayson Dolan to launch a fragrance company Wakeheart, which sold over 20k units in  its most recent fragrance drop, according to Gould.

Gould is an active angel investor and advisor in a number of startups including Clutter, Gyft, Compologu, DraftKings, Step, Rinse, Jukin Media, Stem, Brandable, Pocketwatch, Cargomatic, Beautycon, and others.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Beautycon Media
  • Insert Name Here
  • Wakeheart
  • Glamnetic

Lightspeed Venture Partners

Lightspeed Venture Partners is a VC firm that focuses on early-stage investments in the enterprise tech and consumer space. It was founded in 2000 and has $10.5 billion within 400 active investments with its affiliates.

Some notable social media-focused investments are Cameo and Giphy. Lightspeed Ventures was also a part of Apple’s series Planet of the Apps where select developers and entrepreneurs pitched their apps to LIghtspeed Venture Partners for a chance at funding.

Lightspeed Ventures was also the first VC firm ever to invest in Snapchat.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Cameo
  • Giphy

Lightspeed Venture Partners has raised a total of $12.3B across 24 funds.

Lightspeed Ventures team and investors:

  • Neetzan Zimmerman (Vice President, Growth)
  • Shuvi Shrivastava (Vice President)
  • Ravi Jain (Founder, Managing Director)
  • Siddharth Sangwan (Director & Head – Talent Strategy)

Pineapple Capital

Tiffany Zhong is the founder of Pineapple Capital and the cofounder and CEO of Zebra IQ. She is also known as one of the youngest VCs in the world, as she worked at $300 million venture capital firm when she was 18.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Superplastic
  • TTYL.

Spark Capital

Spark capital is a venture capital firm with over $4 billion under management, with offices in San Francisco, Boston, and New York. The company has invested in creator oriented companies such as Cameo, Discord, Twitter and Blud.


Investments in the creator economy:

  • Cameo
  • Brud
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Discord

Spark Capital has raised a total of $3.8B across 10 funds.

Recent funds:

  • Spark Capital Founders Fund VI ($7.1M)
  • Spark Capital Growth Founders Fund III ($9.3M)
  • Spark Capital Growth Fund III ($900M)
  • Spark Capital VI ($450M)

Spark Capital Team:

  • Kevin Thau (general partner) was the head of mobile products on Twitter for 7 years, and later its vice president of business and corporate development before joining Spark. He led Spark’s investments in Cameo, Burd and Medium.
  • Nabeel Hyatt (general partner) joined spark after he sold his social games company Conduit Labs in 2010. He led Spark’s early investment in Discord.
  • Bijan Sabet (cofounder and general partner) led Spakr’s early stage investments in Twitter and Tumblr. Prior to confounding Spark in 2005 he worked for consumer internet startups including WebTV

The Chernin Group

The Chernin Group is a multi stage investment firm focused on consumer businesses. It is run by Peter Chernin, Jesse Jacjobs, and Mike Kerns and the group has invested in social media focused companies as well as esports, gaming and health companies.

ShopShops was one of the groups most recent investments. ShopShops is an ecommerce platform that sells products through live streaming events held at retail stores.

Peter Chernin is the former President of NewsCorp and CEO of Fox Group. With a $700 million in a fresh investment fund he is investing in companies like Substack, Cameo, Soundcloud and Anchor.

Investments in the creator economy:

  • Cameo
  • Rooster Teeth
  • Fullscreen
  • Twitter

The Chernin Group team:

  • Peter Chernin (CEO and chairman)
  • Jason Bergsman (executive vice president)
  • Brett Baker (actor)
  • Maureen Sullivan (partner)
  • Allison Stern (operating partner)
  • Mike Kerns (president)
  • Marco DeMeireles (partner)
  • Michaela Venuti (vice president)
  • Blair Shane (chief operating officer)

To Wrap It All Up

Going into 2022 the creator economy is still rapidly growing and investors are taking advantage of every opportunity they find. And by now you should know the biggest VC firms and investors that are fueling startup companies in the creator economy, as well as the type of companies that are getting funded.

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