Tech Trailblazers: Are Creators Raising Venture Capital Redefining Innovation?

Slow Ventures has set a new trend by investing in individual creators, earmarking $20 million for this unique approach. These creator-focused investments were once seen as unconventional, but they are gaining momentum.

Companies like Spotter, Jellysmack, and Creative Juice are offering creators financial backing in exchange for various arrangements, from upfront cash to a share of revenue over a set term. Mythical, owned by YouTube stars Rhett and Link, even launched a $5 million venture capital fund for creators in 2021.

One notable deal saw Slow Ventures invest in Marina Mogilko, a language-learning YouTuber and co-founder of LinguaTrip. In exchange for $1.7 million in capital, Mogilko agreed to give the venture firm 5% of her earnings for 30 years, including a stake in any intellectual property developed during that time.

Slow Ventures is committed to these creator deals and has inked several already, seeking creators with an entrepreneurial mindset. This approach has become appealing to venture firms since creator businesses are often profitable from the start.

On the other hand, Mythical is independently financing creators with substantial YouTube followings. These creators, like Jarvis Johnson and Daniel Trasher, are likely receiving about $1 million in capital, showing the potential value of creator-driven businesses.

While the ethical and practical implications of treating creators as companies are debatable, venture firms are venturing into uncharted territory. As Slow and Mythical look toward e-commerce, apps, and original content, they believe creators have the authenticity and flexibility to shape the future of digital business.

The question remains: will we one day see a creator IPO?