Musk Leaves Twitter Staff Without Equity Plan as Deadline LoomsRead Now

Sam Yam and Jack Conte. Photos by Patreon

Patreon’s $400 Million Promise: To Expand From Donations to Services

By  |  Nov. 13, 2018 7:02 AM PST
Photo: Sam Yam and Jack Conte. Photos by Patreon

Patreon has become known in the online media industry as the place to go if you want to send your favorite podcaster or musician a few dollars a month in exchange for extra content or access to exclusive chats. But the company has much bigger ambitions. It wants to offer creators a variety of services for creators, such as loans, so they can build their businesses. Think of Shopify, which powers many e-commerce outfits, but for artists, as one Patreon investor described it.

Those ambitions are reflected in Patreon’s valuation last year of $400 million—when it raised a reported $60 million—despite revenue this year expected to be only around $16 million, its cut of online donations.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
Creator Economy google policy
YouTube’s Ad Revenue Falls Again; More U.S. Pressure on TikTok
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. Photo by Bloomberg
A continued decline in YouTube ad revenue spells bad news for creators who earn money from the video-sharing site. On Thursday, Alphabet said YouTube’s ad revenue fell nearly 8% to $7.96 billion during the fourth quarter compared with the same period a year earlier. That’s the second straight quarter of decline.
Latest Briefs
Alphabet Revenue Growth Slowed Again in Q4
Amazon Plans to Close Some Grocery and Convenience Stores
Amazon Sees AWS Slowdown Lasting For Several Quarters
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Photo Illustration by Shane Burke. Photos by Getty and Shutterstock
Musk’s Twitter Scores Super Bowl Deals, a Boon for Struggling Ad Business
After weeks of turmoil and layoffs, Twitter’s sales team in recent weeks has reorganized to focus more on big advertisers and launch new ad products, such as its recently released digital confetti.
Photo via Getty
Dealmaker venture capital
A New Bubble Is Forming for AI Startups, But Don’t Expect a Crypto-like Pop
Venture capitalists have dumped crypto and moved on to a new fascination: artificial intelligence. As a sign of this frenzy, they're paying steep prices for startups that are little more than ideas.
Illustration by Clark Miller.
Opinion startups
Stop Paying People So Much
Every startup leadership team wrestles with the trade-offs between growth and profitability. This is fitting and ever shall be.
Verily headquarters in San Francisco. Photo by AP.
Exclusive google
Revenues Rise at Alphabet’s Biggest ‘Other Bet’ But So Do Losses
Verily, by far the biggest Alphabet unit by revenue after Google, continues to post heavy losses, according to previously undisclosed financial information.
Photo by Bloomberg
The Briefing markets facebook
Meta Declares ‘Year of Efficiency’ as Revenue Stagnates
We’re in the middle of Chinese New Year celebrations at the start of the Year of the Rabbit. At Meta Platforms, though, it’s the “year of efficiency,” as CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared Wednesday on announcing fourth-quarter results.
Cameo co-founders Steven Galanis, Devon Townsend, Martin Blencowe, from left to right. Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images
Creator Economy startups crypto
Cameo and Rally Shutter NFT Products, #Paid Conducts Layoffs
I’m kicking off today’s newsletter with some news: Creator services from Rally to Cameo are ditching crypto features that generated lots of buzz during the pandemic.