Creators as Angel Investors

Karat rolls out a new program to connect creator clients with startup founders

Good morning. Hollywood strikes, cage fights, and creators turning into AI. As Labor Day approaches this weekend, what do you think has been the biggest creator story of the summer? Hit reply and let us know!

Karat Launches Angel Investing Program for Creators

Karat’s Shark Tank-like event, Supernova (left) including Patreon CEO Jack Conte, finance creator Graham Stephan, and language education creator Marina Mogilko / Karat

Financial services company Karat recently launched a new service for its creator clients: helping facilitate angel investing. Karat now allows creators to browse partner startups in the platform's network and connect with founders who complement their content. The founder and the creator then take it from there.

So far, the program has led to three investment deals, Karat Head of Product Shubha Raghvendra told us.

Why’d Karat launch the program? Last fall, the company held its second “Supernova” event—think Shark Tank, but with founders pitching to finance creator Graham Stephan instead of Mark Cuban. Following that event, the excitement around creators angel investing inspired Karat’s latest offering, Raghvendra said.

“Creators are always looking for ways to make their money work for them…and we were getting a lot of interest in this piece of, ‘Hey, can I trade my distribution for equity?’” she told us.

Zoom out: As part of the rollout for this new program, Karat plans to develop resources to educate its community of creators on the risks of angel investing—after all, 90% of startups do fail.

Still, Raghvendra referenced a conversation with a veteran creator that convinced her of the value in angel investing for creators who don’t have the time or interest to start a business outside of their content.

“[This creator] said, ‘I’m always looking at the horizon [of my career] as a creator…and there’s two ways to outrun that horizon. One is to make my own brand, like a Chamberlain Coffee. And the other is to spread my bets across multiple brands,’” Raghvendra told us.

Travel Creators Start Fresh with New Channel

Vicky (right) and Josh (left) announce the end of their first channel, A Couple of Nomads, last month / YouTube

Nearly two years of work and over 100 videos can be hard to walk away from, but that’s what travel creators Vicky and Josh did in February as they shut down their original channel to start fresh with a new one.

And since then? The pair’s new channel has easily topped subscribers and views from their old channel in just two months, according to education creator Matt Koval.

The case for starting fresh:

  • Vicky and Josh began making videos about living and vacationing in Spain in 2021.

  • They moved to South Korea in 2022 and started making videos about their life there, but their views soon tanked.

  • “It wasn’t that there wasn’t an audience for their new location on YouTube…It’s that their Spain-centric audience wasn’t interested in the new content—so they skipped every video about Korea,” Koval noted.

  • YouTube’s algorithm noticed subscribers were skipping videos, so it suggested the videos to fewer viewers. That’s what inspired Vicky and Josh to hit reset with a new channel. 

The results: Their first video received 150,000 views without any promotion to their previous audience, and in just six weeks, their new channel surpassed the number of subs they got in two years on their old channel.

Creators Compete with NFL Athletes in ‘Tuesday Night Gaming’

Streamer Sykkuno is teased as part of the “Tuesday Night Gaming” lineup / X

Gaming creators like QTCinderella, Typical Gamer, and Sykkuno will team up with and compete against NFL football players including Fred Warner and Amon-Ra St. Brown in a video game showdown starting next week for the second season of Tuesday Night Gaming (TNG). Rapper Quavo will be hosting the first episode.

The details: The show, made in partnership with the NFL and Enthusiast Gaming, pairs creators with football players to compete in video games including (but not limited to) Madden NFL. TNG will stream live weekly on YouTube starting next Tuesday, with streamers Esfand and Will Neff hosting a weekly pre-show on Mondays through Twitch.

Zoom out: YouTube is using TNG to drum up excitement for its upcoming NFL Sunday Ticket package, while the NFL is forging its own connections with YouTube creators. Already, the league has partnered on content with AMP and RDCWorld in a flag football match and former college athlete Donald “Deestroying” De La Haye in his 1ON1 series.

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The content we’re looking forward to reading, watching, and listening to this weekend.

  • Read: As priorities go, traction on social media is just as important as the cut and quality of the clothes.” With luxury fashion reaching its peak “celebrity era,” GQ profiles Pharrell Williams as he prepares to launch his first season as men’s creative director of Louis Vuitton.

  • Watch: In Episode 3 of “Bare Minimum,” we follow Alexandra Robinson and Danny Kabouni as they take spin classes on Citi Bikes and start a specialty water business.

  • Listen: What’s the current status of the Hollywood strikes? Matthew Belloni shares why he thinks we’ll continue to see more movie studios push back release dates on the latest episode of The Town podcast.

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