Content creation is a high-risk, high-reward, but precarious business to be in without recurring revenue as your income. Out of the millions of content creators globally, there are few that get to the level of being about to routinely secure brand deals. Even fewer have long-standing, semi-permanent relationships with elite brands. The lack of predictible, recurring revenue leaves the greater mass of content creators at risk of not being able to meet their immediate needs. Fanfix, founded by Harry Gestetner, Simon Pompan and Cameron Dallas in August 2021, is a “content monetization platform for creators.” SuperOrdinary, “the leading global growth partner and marketplace expert connecting brands, creators, and consumers,” acquired Fanfix in a deal that closed by the end of June of this year. While the exact price of the acquisition is undisclosed, it is estimated to be on the order of “eight figures.”
The startup was launched while Gestetner and Pompan were still students at Tulane University and Vanderbuilt University, respectively. The team grew to seventeen members by the time of acquisition. Some of startup’s competitors are Patreon, OnlyFans, Fanhouse, and Subify. Fanfix generates revenue by taking a 20% cut of the subscriptions for creator-paywalled content purchased through its platform.
Frederick Daso: What drives the misconception that content creators’ Gen-Z fans are not interested in paying to watch exclusive content?
Harry Gestetner: It’s a common misconception that our generation, Gen-Z, is not interested in paying for content. Our parents grew up with four channels on television, yet we’ve grown up with bottomless TikTok feeds, endless Netflix options, and luring YouTube “Play Next” algorithms. This free-content overload has led to fans craving a more exclusive and behind-the-scenes community with additional content worth paying for. When we first launched Fanfix, people would often question us as to whether Gen-Z would pay for content. We saw proof that fans would pay with the generous tipping on Twitch, Fortnight skins being purchased, and Fifa/Madden Ultimate Team packs being opened. We were right; creators have earned millions of dollars on Fanfix by providing value to their most loyal fans. The overwhelming response from the fans on our platform is that they value the exclusivity of the content, the direct access to their favorite creators and the sense of community being part of a membership club.
Daso: How does Fanfix disprove that misconception through how the product is built and marketed to a Gen-Z audience?
Simon Pompan: Fanfix is a cross-channel subscription content platform that allows creators to build membership communities of their loyal fans and engage with their subscribers to a new level. The opportunities are endless for creators to provide value to their fans as we support all different media formats. Fans can gain access to exclusive content, whether that be extended cuts of a podcast, meal and fitness plans, blogs, unreleased music, behind-the-scenes footage, motivational audio, giveaways, direct messages and so much more! The product is built around the needs of mobile-first multi-channel Gen-Z creators and their audiences. Our marketing strategy puts creators first, highlighting the creators monetizing on Fanfix while promoting their social profiles across their platforms. We understand the importance of supporting the growth of the creators we partner with to build brand affinity with their audiences.
Daso: What was the strategy behind acquiring content creators to come onto the Fanfix platform to monetize their content via subscriptions?
Cameron Dallas: This was pretty simple. We show creators that there’s better conversion are more money to be made in promoting yourself to your fans and having a recurring revenue stream while not sacrificing your brand image and moral compass. I always tell creators this is something I wish I had six years ago, and they consistently come back to me ecstatic with the results after joining.
Daso: When did the conversations about an acquisition initially start?
Julian Reis: We met the Fanfix team in January 2022 through a mutual connection. We had been studying the creator monetization space for some time and realized there was a white space, particularly in the Gen-Z creator space where Fanfix was primarily focused.
SuperOrdinary has been focused on the growth of the creator economy since its inception. We’ve worked with over 70,000 KOLs in China to fuel social commerce. Through this partnership with Fanfix, we are excited to build a multi-brand platform that will streamline relationships between content creators and brands nationally and globally.
Daso: Why did Fanfix go down the path of being acquired versus continuing its development as a standalone company?
Pompan: We decided to take the path of being acquired due to our shared vision for what Fanfix could become by joining forces with SuperOrdinary. This partnership will bring Fanfix to the forefront of the creator economy and provide unmatched resources to creators worldwide. Fanfix has always been creator centric – a hub for creators to monetize, build community, and engage with their most loyal fans. Our mission since Fanfix’s inception has been to shift the balance of powers in favor of the creators versus the social media platforms they built up. With the resources of SuperOrdinary behind us, Fanfix is closer to achieving our goals.
Daso: What will Fanfix be able to accomplish through its acquiring company, SuperOrdinary, that you couldn’t otherwise?
Gestetner: US companies often overlook the massive opportunity worldwide. SuperOrdinary is the leading global brand accelerator with unparalleled experience in bringing Fanfix to international markets. Moreover, social commerce is such an exciting space that is so nascent in the US. SuperOrdinary’s 140 brands will allow us to plug in many more monetization options for creators. Creators will be able to create their own storefronts on Fanfix, white label products and co-create their own brands. This international reach, their vast network of brands and infrastructure will be game-changing for Fanfix, making us the number 1 platform for creators to monetize.