Startups with a creator economy are difficult. It can be risky to ask creators to rely on a potentially precarious, pre-seed company to power an important aspect of their business – if you fail, as most startups do, you could inadvertently end up other independent entrepreneurs. harm, which is (hopefully) the last thing a founder wants.
But some industry startups have had the opposite effect, making creative, online careers more accessible than ever. Platforms like OnlyFans and Patreon have helped creators earn a sustainable income, while Linktree managed to turn a piece of Instagram real estate into a unicorn.
However, Y Combinator doesn’t seem particularly interested in the creative economy. If you filter the list of Summer ’22 companies for startups labeled “creator economy,” it’s not a very long list. Plus, for some of the companies mentioned, I wouldn’t define them as creative companies (Taro seems useful to an aspiring software engineer, but a future product leader at Google isn’t exactly in the same boat as a YouTube chief).
Anyway, a few companies stood out in this batch as emerging tools for fashion bloggers and Twitch streamers alike.
What makes streaming video games different from watching a generic playthrough? Viewers can interact live with their favorite streamers and see how their commentary and input influence their gameplay. Already on streaming sites, fans can pay to get a shout-out on stream, or to flag comments to these creators. But Tangia takes that idea to an even more interactive level.
At the moment, Tangia is compatible with the mega-popular sandbox game Minecraft. Viewers can purchase interactions within a streamer’s Minecraft game – for example, one fan can spend $8 to spawn a zombie horde to attack the player, while another fan can pay $10 to give the streamer an upgraded weapon .
This model would be almost impossible to exist in games that aren’t as customizable as Minecraft – unless you use some wild emulators, I don’t think you could afford to spawn a shiny Pikachu in a streamer’s Pokémon playthrough . But Minecraft is enough of a streaming cash cow that Tangia already has something special on its hands.
The best thing about Tangia is that it only takes 10% of its revenue from streamer sales – that’s pretty good for a platform fee. Aside from Minecraft encounters, Tangia users can also sell subscriptions to their subscribers, which also earns them a 90% payout.
At the moment Tangia is integrated with Twitch, Minecraft, Discord and Stripe. Tangia also takes on the competition by offering its own built-in “link in bio” product. Plus, in addition to Minecraft encounters, Tangia users can sell subscriptions to their subscribers, which also earns them a 90% payout.
Jamble is a second-hand clothing market that uses short video and live streaming to help users sell. Personally I find the concept exciting as I find it difficult to shop second hand clothes online – I know my size in fast fashion brands that I have been buying for ages but I have no idea what would suit me in an 80s brand that I’ve never heard of. Seeing how real people wear the clothes in a video clip makes it easier to get an idea of the fit, style and texture of a garment.
“Live streaming is a game changer in secondhand fashion,” Jamble writes. “Connecting with an audience in real time, answering all questions at once, and selling to the highest bidder is the most effective way to move inventory — much more than managing static offers for months.”
Jamble’s three French founders started the company at home before moving to the US. Two of them once had their own online vintage store, which undoubtedly led to their idea for the app.
I’m not sure if I would fit Popsy into this category – for example, is Squarespace or Wix a company with a creative economy? It’s border.
There are so many no-code website builders, but Popsy is fun and eye-catching. The company started when the founders fell in love with Notion (we’ve all been there) and noticed how easy it is to publish compelling documents online. But Notion is meant to be a note-taking app, not a no-code web builder. So that’s where Popsy comes in.
Now Popsy has moved beyond its Notion-driven origins. Still, their endgame can be an asset.
It’s free to create sites. You don’t have to sign up for a free trial and remember to cancel before being charged. But if you decide to commit to the site, it costs $8 a month and can be equipped with a custom domain. Compared to other no-code website builders, that’s not a bad deal.