Patreon, an online membership platform that lets fans subscribe to exclusive content from artists, surpassed a $1 billion valuation Sept. 1 after it raised $90 million to continue hosting creator content, offer more merchandise and localize the platform in Europe.
Following this raise, Patreon is now valued at $1.2 billion. The platform has seen a surge in membership since the pandemic began, which is driving investor interest.
Founded by Stanford University roommates Sam Yam and Jack Conte, who now serves as CEO, Patreon launched in 2013 and has now raised over $257 million to date, according to funding tracker PitchBook Data Inc.
“This level of belief in Patreon is proof that the world is changing,” Conte said in a recent video addressing the raise. “The stigma of the starving artist is going to fade away.”
Conte said in a blog post that “more than 200,000 creators on the platform that have collectively earned $2 billion dollars to date directly from their fans — no advertisers, no gatekeepers, no black box.” Conte added that he expects that “moving forward, creators from all over the world will be earning at least $1 billion a year on Patreon.”
While creators are earning cash on the platform, Patreon has yet to turn a profit — though the privately-held company takes a payment processing fee and between 5-12% of the monthly income earned by each of its artists.
Despite being based in San Francisco, the majority of Patreon’s clientele is outside the United States. Conte said the company will use some of the new funding to localize the platform in French, Spanish and Italian and allow fans to pay creators in their local currencies. Patreon operates offices in Berlin and Dublin in addition to its Bay Area headquarters.
Patreon said it is also working to offer its fans more options to buy merchandise on the platform, which is a valuable way for creators to supplement their income as in-person gigs remain on hold.
New Patreon investors New Enterprise Associates, Wellington Management and Lone Pine joined the round alongside the company’s existing backers, Glade Brook Capital, Thrive Capital, DFJ Growth and Index Ventures. Following this round NEA partner Jonathan Golden will join Patreon’s board.
“We believe the Patreon team is leading the way when it comes to changing the way society thinks about what it means to be a creator,” Golden told The Wall Street Journal.
Watch Conte’s full funding announcement video below.