February 22, 2024

14 Top VC Firms Funding Creator Economy Startups in 2023

  • In spite of a slowdown, creator-economy startups are still raising millions of dollars.
  • From Karat to Spill, venture capitalists are betting on creator-focused companies in 2023.
  • Insider is highlighting 14 VC firms that are backing startups in the space right now.

About three years ago, the “creator economy” was a fiery buzzword that emerged out of the bustling influencer-marketing and social-media industries.

By 2021, the space had raised approximately $939 million in venture capital, according to Crunchbase data.

“There was a massive push on how do we serve all these independent, small creators?” said Marlon Nichols, cofounder and managing partner at MaC Venture Capital. “How do we create not only communities for them, but productivity tools for them?”

But in recent months, the creator economy — like many other industries that have taken a blow from turbulent economic shifts — has had fewer dollars flying around.

“A lot of those companies didn’t do so great,” Nichols told Insider, adding that many were too focused on solving one pain-point in the industry. “And so we saw some consolidation in the space.”

More than 20 startups were part of M&A deals in 2022, and there were only a small handful of newly minted unicorn startups during the same year.

Still, creator-economy startups aren’t throwing in their towels — and the strongest are thriving. 

Many startups have raised money in 2023, from pre-seed stages to larger later-stage rounds. For instance, Karat, a creator-focused credit-card company, announced it had raised $70 million in July. Karat raised a $40 million Series B led by venture firm SignalFire, and also raised $30 million in debt financing that will be used to back creator-led businesses, per the company.

Other startups that have raised money this year include influencer pay transparency platform Hashtag Pay Me, digital goods marketplace Whop, and link-in-bio startup Hype.

“The solutions that remain relevant and the newcomers in the space, they have to address both the creators and the consumers alike,” Nichols said.

Who are the venture capitalists backing these startups in 2023? 

Insider is highlighting over a dozen VC firms, as well as their partners who specialize in creator-focused startups, that are funding the next wave of creator-economy companies. This list was determined by Insider based on our reporting and the nominations that we received. We considered factors like their relative focus, number of investments in the space, and impact on the creator industry as a whole.

Here are 14 VC firms funding the creator economy in 2023:

Note: Firms are listed in alphabetical order.

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