Patreon Raising $90M

Patreon—the online service that allows podcasters, musicians and others to receive financial support from fans—has raised a $90 million round of funding from fans of its own, The Information has learned.

The company recently closed the round at a $1.2 billion pre-money valuation, according to two people familiar with the matter. That is about double the pre-money valuation for the company before a round of funding last year, according to PitchBook, the financial data firm. The venture capital firm NEA is among the new investors in the round, one of the people said.

A Patreon spokesperson didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. On Tuesday evening, after this story published, Patreon disclosed the funding round in a blog post, in which it also identified Wellington Management and Lone Pine as new investors in the round.

The upswing in Patreon’s valuation and a related surge in its business this year is a strong sign that the company has benefited during the pandemic, which devastated many sources of income for artists such as touring and exhibitions, forcing them to rely more heavily on more novel forms of revenue. Patreon has helped fill that void, along with other subscription-based online platforms like Substack, a newsletter membership site.

Through the site, which was co-founded by the musician Jack Conte in 2013, fans pay artists they want to support through recurring membership fees starting at $5 a month in exchange for perks like merchandise, livestream videos and private performances. Currently, more than six million patrons have supported the more than 200,000 creators on the platform. In addition to up-and-coming artists with smaller followings, Patreon has also attracted more prominent artists including the musicians Ben Folds and Kimbra and actress Issa Rae.

Early last year, Patreon said it was on track to pay out $500 million to artists on the site in 2019—which it calls “creators”—and a total of $1 billion since the site was founded.

Previously, Patreon raised $60 million from investors including the late stage fund Glade Brook Capital, Thrive Capital and Index Ventures in July 2019. The new funding brings the company’s total capital raised to around $265 million, money it’s used to expand internationally and provide services to the creators who use its platform.