More than 200,000 musicians, journalists, podcasters, and other creators rely on Patreon to make money. Now the membership platform, which allows creators to charge "Patrons" for their content, is reaping the benefits with some fundraising of its own.
The San Francisco-based company just completed a $155 million funding round led by Tiger Global that brought its total valuation to $4 billion.
Jack Conte, CEO and co-founder of Patreon, told Cheddar that the investment will help the company continue to "internationalize" and bring its platform to creators around the world.
"They want the platform in languages other than English and in currencies other than dollars," he said.
Patreon is currently supported in German, French, Spanish, and Italian. As for currencies, it supports Euros, British pound sterlings, Canadian dollars, and Australian dollars.
While Patreon has steadily expanded its network since launching eight years ago, the platform got a serious boost due to the pandemic, which shut down large swaths of the creative economy such as concerts and other in-person events. In the first few weeks of March 2020 alone, 30,000 creators started accounts, according to a blog post from the company.
"The pandemic has been really tough for a lot of people, and especially creators — especially creators who relied on in-person events as one of their main streams of revenue," Conte said.
The platform currently has six million subscribers who generate more than a billion dollars in revenue for creators. Conte said the experience of the pandemic, as well as the growth of the creative economy in general, is driving the adoption of Patreon's membership-based model.
"I think one thing that creators are trying to do right now is build out their businesses and diversify their business to make sure that they're getting revenue from a variety of places, and running a membership business and building special experiences for your most passionate fans is a great, fun, exciting way to do that as a creator," he said.
Despite reports that Patreon is considering a public listing as soon as this year, Conte said the company does not have a set timeline and is focused on other priorities, such as improving the experience of both fans and creators.
"There's no timing right now," he said. "We're not focused on that right now as a company."
Conte also expressed his belief that the next 10 years will be "the decade of the creator."
"I really think that we're entering a second renaissance right now," he said.