Around the world, creators are in the driver’s seat, thanks to the exponential growth of the creator economy. According to Creator Earnings: Benchmark Report 2022, more than one billion people will identify as creators over the next five years.
But the rise – and rise – of the creator economy is now shining a spotlight on the issues they face.
More often than not, creators spend time on manual processes (managing groups and subscriptions, managing payments, and sharing screenshots) instead of focusing on their core business: content creation.
Gurugram-based Cosmofeed aims to change that by helping creators manage the entire content creation, subscription, and payment cycle seamlessly.
The startup, founded in September 2021 by Vivek Yadav and Vishnu Pathakhelps micro and nano creators connect with their audience and monetize their content.
These creators, who produce quality content, often do not have access to the tools, technologies and techniques to effectively reach their target market.
The Cosmofeed platform and targeted solutions help small town content creators discover and monetize their content.
“Our platform offers multiple ways for creators to build communities (free and paid) and monetize exclusive content. Features include Locked Messages (to sell exclusive content on the platform and/or other platforms), Premium Subscription Channels (to manage subscription groups on the platform or Telegram) and courses (to sell and manage a community of learners)”, Vivek tells Your story.
The startup has a user base of over 3.5 lakh people and over 1,000 creators on its platform, served by a team of 20 members.
Vivek, who has a background in investment banking and worked at Singapore-based Silk Bridge Partners, was preparing a thesis on the ecosystem of creators in the mobile market.
As part of this, he was part of several WhatsApp channels where many creators operated their community businesses – manually solving payments, collection and logistics, and saying the lack of automation was a huge problem.
This initial problem statement led to the development of the first version of the product in March 2021, which allowed the creators to automate payment collection as well as deletion and reminders to all community members.
Vishnu, who led the development of the search and survey module for technology-focused logistics startup Cogoport in his last role, met Vivek at an event in Mumbai in 2019. Then stayed in touch and became “COVID roommates” when Vishnu moved to Bengaluru.
in May 2020, they founded MARKN, an NGO focused on digital wellbeing with Aditya Vardhan (currently COO, Cosmofeed). They have extended this to over 10 cities and a team of over 100 volunteers across India. This was later closed.
Vivek and Vishnu were then looking to build something together and decided to venture into the creator’s space.
Cosmofeed claims to be the first platform that allows creators to earn directly from their users by providing them with several tools and features to monetize, grow, and retain users.
“From providing operational support to providing services and creative support to deliver better experiences for end users, we work with creators to give them the best platform to start their journey,” says Vivek .
He adds that all products on the Cosmofeed platform are available for resale through users of the platform (allowing the creator to share a percentage commission with the reseller).
“This allows a creator’s product to travel to Tier II, III, and IV Indian cities, where buying decisions are driven by community leaders, unlike outright buying. It increases the revenue of the creator,” he says.
The startup targets creators with a strong distribution (followers, channels, network) but “having difficulty monetizing or having not monetized to date”.
Funding and monetization
Cosmofeed has raised a total of $1.5 million through a seed round from three venture capitalists, Growx, 9 Unicorns and Waveform Ventures. It was also funded by angel investors Swati Mohan and Rannvijay Singha.
“This combination of angel investors and venture capital has uniquely positioned us to take advantage of emerging opportunities arising from the business environment,” says Vivek.
Cosmofeed earns by charging a 10% platform fee on all transactions that take place on the platform. He says it is up 50% month-on-month, but declined to divulge further figures.
The path to follow
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, the creator economy is a $100 billion+ business industry.
“Creator-led businesses are growing very rapidly across the world. Creating niche use cases and genre-focused features should be prioritized – this is a low-power, high-power industry. added value,” says Vivek.
In India, Cosmofeed competes with Rigi and faces competition from Gumroad and Patreon globally.
The creator-focused startup aims to deepen regional/local ecosystems across India and seeks to onboard over 10,000 creators by the end of 2022.