Today, the forefront of culture starts on the internet, and at Bessemer, we believe creators, curators, community leaders, and co-owners are the ones to build the future. As commerce and connections transform online, new distribution channels that leverage the power of these entrepreneurs are gaining momentum. At Bessemer, we have made a number of investments that align with this observation, in companies like Discord, Avant Arte, and Teachable.
We think these companies represent an exciting new category of consumer companies that can scale organically, by partnering with creators who can help spread the word about the product to their followers. By doing this, they route around the expensive paid distribution on mega-platforms like Facebook and Google. To help accelerate and back consumer companies in this next wave of innovation in 2023, Bessemer Venture Partners is launching the Creator Collaborative.
The Creator Collaborative is a cohort of builders, founders, and “the multi-hyphenates” of tomorrow who identify and invest in consumer startups. These leaders offer unique insight into how stellar products break through the noise and activate audiences on emerging distribution and acquisition channels.
For its inaugural year, the Creator Collaborative welcomes five leaders who have already made their mark within the creator economy and across mega-platforms, such as TikTok, Instagram, and beyond:
- Alexis Barber is an influencer with over 100,000 followers across her social channels and was formerly a Global Shorts Content Strategist at YouTube. In addition, she’s the founder of Too Collective, the lifestyle brand selling soft and adjustable robes.
- Stephen Ellis (a.k.a Snoopeh) is a former League of Legends professional player and is on the Board of Directors for LCS Players Association. He’s led Partnerships and Product Marketing for Gaming Video at Facebook. He is currently the co-founder and CEO of Pipeline, a community for content creators looking to grow their live-streaming audience and build their businesses.
- Brendan Gahan is the chief innovation officer at a creative agency, Mekanism. He’s been at the forefront of social and influencer marketing since 2006, creating disruptive campaigns for brands such as Mountain Dew, Unilever, MolsonCoors, and The Olympics.
- Julia Montgomery is the founder and chief executive officer of Influent. On TikTok, she advises her over 300,000 followers on how to launch a direct-to-consumer (D2C) business and what it takes to run good vs. great brand campaigns.
- Kevin Ramsey is co-founder and COO of Warren James, a merchandising company that collaborates with the world’s top influencers such as Hasan Piker, KallMeKris, and Poppy Playtime. He was the former Senior Manager of Business Development of Licensing at Roblox.
As part of the Creator Collaborative, members will:
- Source and participate in novel investment opportunities within consumer ecosystems;
- Partner with prospective and current Bessemer portfolio companies for business opportunities;
- Cultivate a peer-led community so creators and founders can learn from one another and help elevate each other’s work.
“Some of the most influential names in internet culture today are those building ‘nicheworks.’ In other words, creators are deriving value from highly engaged online communities that share passions and online experiences,” said Jeremy Levine, partner of Bessemer Venture Partners. “As Bessemer continues to back audacious builders, we know today’s consumer founders build not just brands, but also movements through digital grassroots efforts.”
The Creator Collaborative is facilitated by the partners and investors of Bessemer’s consumer team. To learn more about Creator Collaborative, please contact Alexandra Sukin at firstname.lastname@example.org.