I’m excited to share that NEA has co-led the Series E financing of 90M for Patreon! Patreon is a platform for online creators to engage with their fans (aka patrons!). More than 200,000 creators share exclusive content including videos, photos, music, drawings and writing to more than 6M patrons. Patreon aligns the creator with the patron through a subscription model. Patrons sign up to support a creator that is making content they love which they receive in return through the website or app. Patreon allows these creators to make a living doing what they love to do—whether it be as a musician, artist, creative writer or videoagrapher.
Patreon fits our thesis in its mission to fund the creative class. Creators want to express themselves and deserve to be able to earn a living doing so. Many of the large platforms like YouTube allow for distribution but do not give the creator a way to actively engage with fans directly. Patreon is the OS for the creator. The platform gives control to the creator, allowing them to know and manage their fanbase and communicate directly. In addition, it solves one of the most complex parts of being a professional creative, an ability to monetize their work in a scalable way.
When Patreon asks their patrons why they subscribe to creators, the response is always the same: patrons love the content and want to find a way to contribute to the creator. This motivation is driven by patronage, one of the oldest business models. If at any time the patron decides that they aren’t able to support the creator anymore, all they have to do is unsubscribe. The community being built on Patreon is thriving because of these aligned incentives.
We are still in the early innings of the creator class. Even though Patreon is seven years old, the category is just getting started. We are excited to see Patreon lead the way in new product experiences for creators to build even tighter connections to their fans.
As an investment, we are extremely excited to see the business compound over time. Jack Conte, co-founder and CEO, as a musician himself, intimately knows the challenges of the creator and what tools they need to thrive in this new emerging category. We couldn’t be more excited to help build the community and partner with such an amazing team!