From content creation tools to administrative platforms, these 125+ companies are innovating across the creator value chain.
Amid the self-monetization boom, creators have mostly had to cobble together a variety of tools to manage diverse revenue streams.
Traditional business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies have yet to fully address these microentrepreneurial needs: B2C apps like TikTok aren’t primed for collecting revenue, nor are B2B tools like HubSpot or Zendesk suited for supporting individual creators.
However, a slew of startups are looking to disrupt the way creators make content, develop their audiences, or grow their businesses beyond advertising. Examples include video editing software Kapwing, personalized video app Cameo, and creator credit card startup Karat — companies spanning use cases like content creation, fan interaction monetization, and financing solutions.
The value chain is broad. Whereas traditional employment brings together production, income, and benefits into one package, creators are operating in a more splintered environment. They have to aggregate various editing tools, disparate revenue sources, back-end platforms, and more on their own.
Using CB Insights data, we identified 125+ creator-focused companies that are capitalizing on each step of the creator work cycle, from content creation to off-platform monetization to audience management.
This market map includes private, active companies only and is not meant to be exhaustive of companies in the space. Categories are not mutually exclusive.
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Clients can see more companies in our Influencer & Content Creator Tech Collection.
Content creation: Companies in this category help creators produce and edit content, such as photos, podcasts, videos, and short clips. Riverside.fm, for example, allows customers to record studio-quality videos and podcasts. Lowkey helps creators make highlight clips for gameplay.
Financing: These companies offer financing solutions to creators. These can range from equity-style funding, like that offered by Creative Juice or HumanIPO, or credit specifically for creators, à la Karat.
Ad platforms: Companies in this category serve as marketplaces to connect influencers and creators with brands. These platforms help influencers secure brand deals across different distribution platforms or assist brands in finding influencers for their marketing campaigns. Well-funded companies in this category include CreatorIQ and Grin, which offer a full suite of services for managing large-scale influencer campaigns. This category also includes marketplaces that help creators find advertisements for specific platforms, such as Hecto for newsletters or Redcircle for podcasts.
Off-platform monetization tools
Companies in this category provide new ways of monetization away from the bigger distribution platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok.
Subscriptions: These companies help creators launch subscriptions, allowing them to distribute exclusive content for paying subscribers. Substack, Patreon, and OnlyFans are some of the biggest names in this category; these platforms allow creators to charge for paid content.
Blockchain: Companies in this category leverage blockchain technology to allow creators to monetize their work. Examples include Cent and Rarible, which let creators mint non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and Rally, which allows creators to launch social tokens.
Courses: Companies here facilitate the course-launching process for independent creators, allowing them to sell classes, workbooks, coaching sessions, and more. These platforms often boast features like customizable course editors, sales analytics, scheduling, or customer support. Examples include Kajabi and Skillshare.
Fan interactions: Companies in this category help creators charge for fan interactions. Cameo, for example, allows celebrities and creators alike to sell personalized video shout-outs, featuring names from Vanilla Ice to White Claw Gabe. Meanwhile, the NewNew app allows fans to pay to vote on what a creator should do next. This category also includes commission or tipping apps, like Ko-fi and Gumroad, which allow fans to pay creators directly.
Merchandise: These companies offer services for creators to sell physical merchandise without having to build out their own supply chains. Companies like Moteefe, Spring, and Printify offer a range of products like apparel, phone cases, and prints that can be custom printed, while companies like Fanjoy and Youtooz handle branded merchandise for larger creators or viral content creators.
These companies focus on helping creators with business operations, with companies like ChannelMeter and Commsor spanning functions from data analytics to community management.
Analytics/operations: Companies in this category offer services to streamline business analytics or operations. A16z-backed Stir‘s platform enables creators to manage disparate revenue streams, dig into analytics, and receive payments. VidIQ is a YouTube-focused channel analytics platform that aims to help creators grow their viewership.
Community management: These companies help creators manage their communities or fanbase. Vibely, for example, allows creators to set up communities where followers can engage in shared challenges or achieve goals together. Laylo helps creators blast notifications for their latest videos, drops, and merch to their fans.If you aren’t already a client, sign up for a free trial to learn more about our platform.