Investing directly in creators—a chance to bet on the future success of an internet personality and buy into their future earnings—has been gaining steam. The idea is a natural outgrowth of viewing creators as an asset, not dissimilar to an early-stage startup, that could rise in value with more followers and sponsorships. But this market is still clearly in the experimenting stage.
Take HumanIPO. Conceived as a type of exchange to let fans buy and sell shares of people, the two-person startup has been selling investments in social media personalities, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.