New Frontiers in Online Venture Capital

The $20 million Creator Ventures Fund led by Creator Ventures takes an innovative approach to supporting online consumer startups

Will the creators change the world?

If you ask Creator Ventures partners Sasha Kaletsky and Caspar Lee, the answer is yes.

Kaspar Lee and Sasha Kalitsky have always been at the forefront in their respective fields. I had one Closest YouTubers in the UK, and rise to international fame in most parts of the world social media platformsand later founded, a leading influencer marketing company. Sasha Kaletsky is a former private equity investor who previously worked at Bridgepoint and Uber.

Together, they now bring their expertise and entrepreneurial spirit to Creator Ventures. They recently revealed their bold new plan to invest $20 million globally in consumer online startups, investing alongside and helping introduce social media creators to scale, as well as famous musicians, athletes, and TV personalities.

Creator Ventures started as a side party for the founders, who are cousins ​​and old friends. When it was created in 2019, it existed as a syndicate fund known as the “Creative Investment Club” or “Creative Crowdfunding”. The syndicate invested small follower checks along with mutual funds in early stage deals, engaging creators in their deals without fees. Their union included celebrities and creators, and they have over 100 million followers. This year, this “investment club” turned into something much bigger by raising its $20 million donations, investing in early-stage consumer internet companies to Develop how people interact.

Funding comes from limited partnerships with family offices, trusts, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and innovators. Creator Ventures has already invested in over a dozen startup companies across the US, Europe and Asia, including:

FACEITa UK-based competitive sports platform backed by Index Ventures and Makers Fund (exited in early 2022 in a $1.5 billion deal)

Beehivean American platform for newsletter creators powered by Social Leverage

Lottea UK marketplace for nursing homes backed by Kindred Capital and General Catalyst

bounce, bouncea US market for luggage storage backed by General Catalyst and Andreessen Horowitz

Their goal is to invest the world’s first $100-500k check into the seed to Series A startup across four pillars:

social consumer: Games applications and social applications.

● Consumer and B2B2C markets.

Creator Economy: For new experiences or for products or solutions that creators can use.

E-Commerce EnabledOnline trading tools.

“We take ‘friendly founders’ to the next level by helping founders with our social media expertise and bringing it to a range of influencers,” Kalitsky says. “Our network of at-large creators, who can amplify virtually any consumer internet company today, also helps us understand The insights behind the numbers are in consumer social media. We also feel we can better understand whether consumer supply will be on fire as a result of our network and sector specialization.”

He brings me his own vision as a creative founder. He says, “I’ve had my own experiences raising capital on and creating teams at scale as a series founder, as well as gaining perspective on life as one of YouTube’s top early creators. Creator Ventures is my next step, bringing together everything we’ve learned Together with innovators, we invest in the next generation of social clients. Bringing people and communities together has been central to everything I’ve done in my career, and now we’re taking that to the next level for the company’s founders.”

In the words of Lee and Kaltsky, Creator Ventures differs from traditional investors in a number of ways.

“First, we can provide introductions to our network of innovators, who often want to invest. Second, we are uniquely able to help social media marketing entrepreneurs from Caspar’s experience as an innovator and as one of the founders of marketing technology. Finally, of course, we also do With all the traditional things that VCs usually do: introducing investors, strategic support, and operator contacts. Together, this makes a compelling package for founders when identifying their early stage capital.”

They both feel that investors can learn a lot from innovators, and vice versa.

Lee continues, “Innovators often have an innate sense of consumer suggestions, which we draw on as part of our investment analysis, but they don’t always have comprehensive due diligence skills to support sound investment decisions.” The creators advise “be careful when investing, because love of a product is not always enough to support a great business or exit in a few years.”

Lee and Kaletsky also discussed the marketing potential of the TikTok platform, which offers great potential for viral content. “TikTok is fundamentally different from previous social platforms. Viruses can come from anywhere. If a post is very viral, it can reach 50 million views,” says Sasha, “but if not, it could reach a few thousand.” Just, no matter who’s posting it. This is very useful for influencer marketing, because creators now have a real incentive to make their brand deals viral, which wasn’t the case for previous platforms.”

Finally, their investment strategy is to invest in around 50 high-growth consumer online startups. They will invest in companies around the world that either have a great team but haven’t launched yet, or that have launched and are as soon as possible after the first signs of product fit to market.

Conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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