Earlier this week, Patreon, one of our favorite companies and sister companies by investment (one of our investors, Index Ventures, invested in Patreon, too), announced the closing of their most recent funding round – $155M was raised, at a valuation of $4B.
More to the point, this is a round that comes just months after its last, when Patreon raised $90M at a valuation of $1.2B.
Given our own recent funding rounds (one in October 2020 for $10.7M, and one just weeks ago, for $45M), and given the vision Jack Conte, Patreon’s founder and CEO, shares in his announcement below, I wanted to share my take on where we’re headed, and the role of Linktree in these coming tectonic shifts.
Beyond the creator economy, which Jack dives into in his announcement (I love the term “Lego-izing”!), I believe that we’ll see one more significant shift around us in the coming years, one that Jack briefly referred to, as well – a cultural, fundamental shift that will reinvent how we connect with each other.
When we founded Linktree in 2016, the internet was already a crowded, noisy, and highly fragmented place. Over the years, our world – and therefore, our online world, too – became more polarized than ever before. The inflation of voices, when combined with the internet’s inability to facilitate the discovery of holistic identity layers for its users, created a world where we all voluntarily lock ourselves in “echo chambers”, focusing on the differences between us, and not on what may unite us.
Linktree offers creators – and really, anyone who is using the internet – the opportunity to not only monetize their passion (we recently launched social commerce abilities and features, and plan to add more of those in the coming weeks and months), but to allow people to connect based on what unites them.
Instead of shaping our opinion of someone based on a single, random TikTok video, tweet or post, Linktree offers a space where people can share their narratives, passions and identity in a holistic, complete way.
To me, this cultural change, leading us to focus on finding similarities and not differences, will ultimately become the fuel of the creator economy that Jack Conte, myself and others are working towards. This newly found curiosity (an inherent part of looking for – and finding – similarities) will encourage us to explore and discover. And when we’ll find enough similarities with someone, we may choose to take part in their journey by supporting them, and maybe even inviting them to engage with our journey. We’re right on the cusp of a brilliant professionalisation of creativity, unlocking entirely new career paths and fuelling aspirations for generations to come.
The recent news you’re hearing, like Patreon and Linktree raising money to accelerate our growth, is the sound of the engines of this rocket ship warming up. It’s about to take off – and when it does, it will finally make the internet the connector that humanity always meant it to be.