Our latest chart highlights an underlying theme of SoftBank’s strategy when it comes to backing creator economy startups: Artificial intelligence is key. Of the two creator economy deals that SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led this year, both are AI-related. All of its creator economy investments this year were for Series C rounds.
The most recent move: On Thursday, SoftBank led a $130 million funding round in Picsart at a more than $1 billion valuation. Founded in 2012, the 800-person company offers photo and video editing on an app, using artificial intelligence to help apply effects, similar to Photoshop. Its basic features are free, but the company charges an $11.99 per month subscription to access more editing tools. (Picsart was one of The Information’s 50 Most Promising Startups in 2020.) Picsart boasts more than 150 million monthly users and reports $100 million in annual revenue run rate. The San Francisco startup has raised $195 million in funding to date.