$60m Series D funding for Patreon will aid expansion

16 Jul 2019

Jack Conte speaking at a TED event in 2017. Image: Bret Hartman/TED Conference/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Patreon will use some of its latest investment to staff new international offices in the EU.

Patreon, the crowdfunding membership start-up that provides creators with the tools to run a subscription content service, announced today (16 July) that it has raised $60m in Series D funding.

This round of funding was led by Glade Brook Capital. Previous investors such as Index Ventures, Thrive Capital, Initialized Capital, CRV and DFJ Growth also contributed to the Series D fund. Some celebrities, including comedian Hannibal Buress and System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian, also invested in this round.

Since Patreon was founded in 2013, the company has raised a total of $165m in funding.

The San Francisco-based platform has helped more than 100,000 content creators receive money in exchange for their work, benefiting artists, YouTubers, podcasters, influencers and musicians.

Patreon takes a cut of each creator’s monthly revenue to fund operations. Depending on how much creators earn  – this can vary from less than $1,000 per month to hundreds of thousands of dollars per month – Patreon takes 5pc, 8pc or 12pc. This figure also depends on whether the creator has a Lite, Pro or Premium plan.

Plans for investment

Co-founder and CEO Jack Conte told TechCrunch that this latest round of investment will improve the site’s functionality, add more features to the premium tiers launched on the site earlier this year, allow more customisation of profiles, expand Patreon’s merchandising capabilities and fund international expansion.

Patreon plans to open an office in Porto and a number of other EU locations, which have yet to be announced.

Conte founded Patreon in 2013, when he was working as a musician and found it difficult to make money.

Conte explained: “I was working on a music video for over three months, I maxed out two credit cards producing it, I went all out and only made $150 on ad revenue from YouTube for it. I couldn’t stomach that millions of people viewed that video and that was all my paycheck was.

“Within two months of Patreon’s launch I start making $6,000 a month for my work with the support of my patrons. The platform makes creators legitimate members of the workforce and is really helping to break the idea of the ‘starving artist’ by allowing them to earn a regular income.”

If, as forecasted by Patreon, the company manages to surpass $500m payments processed in 2019, it will bring the total number of processed payments to creators to $1bn since the company was founded.

Patreon has also been named as a new inductee on the Forbes 2019 Next Billion-Dollar Startup list.

Jack Conte speaking at a TED event in 2017. Image: Bret Hartman/TED Conference/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Updated, 4.30pm, 16 July 2019: This article was amended to clarify information on Patreon’s new international offices.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic