Creator economy startup Koji raises $20m Series B fundraise to accelerate growth
Koji, the app store for the creator economy and the world's most powerful Link in Bio platform, announced a $20 million financing led by Jump Capital, with participation from new investors HBSE Ventures, Electric Feel Ventures, Visary Capital, Metaversal, and University Growth Ventures, existing investors like Galaxy Interactive and BITKRAFT, and prominent media and technology individuals like Shivakumar Rajaraman, Michael Eisner, Francis Ma, and over 30 others.
Dmitry Shapiro, CEO, Koji: "Koji is refactoring the creator economy into an ecosystem where incentives between creators, consumers, and developers are truly aligned. We believe that the creator economy will be the dominant way tomorrow's artists and entrepreneurs make their livings, and we are empowered to build a powerful, equitable foundation for it to flourish."
Since launching in March 2021, over 150 thousand creators use Koji's Link in Bio platform and over 200 apps to engage with their audiences. Koji's app store includes everything from fun novelties like customizable games to powerful utilities like Shoutout, an app that lets creators offer customized videos to their fans. Koji recently announced a suite of innovative Web3 apps, including commerce apps that offer product discounts for customers who own specific NFTs.
Powered by Koji's cutting-edge platform, Koji apps open directly inside every social media app, without requiring any downloads or installs. These apps are not subject to App Store taxes, letting creators and app developers keep more of their earnings. New apps are released every week and are created by Koji's community of independent developers, creator economy startups like Laylo, Subtext, and Fanfix, and Koji's own in-house developers.
Sean Thielen, Co-founder and Chief Architect, Koji: "Koji's developer ecosystem and platform runtime radically decrease the time and cost required to create new creator economy apps. These technologies, alongside our Web3 roadmap, give rise to a future where creators have true equity and governance in the tools and services on which they rely to make their livings, and developers and entrepreneurs have new paradigms for thinking about the next generation of creator economy apps."
Saaya Nath, Vice President, Jump Capital, who is joining Koji's board of directors in conjunction with the fundraise: "The ability to access innovative tools and services for creators from all walks of life has been one of the largest drivers behind the growth of the creator economy. Koji's unique and innovative app store has led to the creation of an authentic ecosystem for creators and developers to participate, monetize, and eventually own content. We are thrilled to be supporting Koji and look forward to working closely with the team."
In addition to participation from new and existing venture capital and private equity funds, the round also includes participation from individual investors like Shivakumar Rajaraman, Head of Product at OpenSea and former VP Commerce at Meta; Francis Ma, Head of Google Firebase; Peeyush Ranjan, VP Engineering at Google; David Zhang, Director at Silver Lake; Scott Roberts, VP and Head of Business Development at LinkedIn; Keren Baruch, Product Lead for Creator Strategy at LinkedIn; Mohammad Barhoush, Director at IAC; Punit Singh Soni, CEO of Suki; Ujjwal Singh, head of Workplace at Facebook; Brett Chalabian, software engineer at Google; Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney; Art Bilger, founder of WorkingNation; Stefano Corazza, VP at Adobe; Bhaumik Kotecha, head of Business Operations at Cash App; Chris Abad, Director of User Experience at Google; Kum Hong Siew, COO at Airbnb China; and others.
Koji was founded by Dmitry Shapiro and Sean Thielen and has raised $36 million in total. The company will use the new funding to grow its engineering and creator teams, accelerate development of the platform, and further develop its Web3 and crypto offerings.