Oct 25, 2022 - Economy

Scoop: YouTube mega-star MrBeast seeks 10-figure valuation

Photo: Denise Truscello/Getty Images for Amazon's Crown Channel

MrBeast, the YouTube star turned entrepreneur, is looking to raise around $150 million for his business at a roughly $1.5 billion valuation, three sources familiar with the conversations told Axios.

Why it matters: The funding would help MrBeast — whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson — quickly expand his massive video empire further across restaurants, consumer goods and merchandise.

  • With 107 million YouTube channel subscribers, MrBeast's main channel is the fifth most-subscribed YouTube channel globally.
  • His viral internet stunts and challenges, combined with his commitment to testing and iterating each video and its thumbnail, have helped the 24-year-old create one of the most successful YouTube channels in the world.
  • MrBeast began posting YouTube videos more than 10 years ago. Forbes estimates that MrBeast makes more than $54 million per year.

Details: In recent weeks, MrBeast has been speaking with venture investors about what would be his first institutional investment into his overall portfolio, which includes several businesses, in addition to his YouTube empire.

  • In addition to his own YouTube channel, MrBeast runs Beast Reacts (19.8 million followers), MrBeast Gaming (29.1 million followers), and MrBeast Shorts (16.2 million followers).
  • In 2020, MrBeast launched a food delivery business called MrBeast Burger, which delivers in more than 1,000 locations across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.
  • Last month, he opened his first physical restaurant for MrBeast Burger, in New Jersey, drawing thousands of visitors to the location on opening day.
  • In January, MrBeast debuted his own snacks business called Feastables, which made over $10 million in its first few months of operations.

Between the lines: It's unclear how the new investment would be structured. Night Media, the talent management company that manages MrBeast, has helped launch consumer ventures under MrBeast's brand. Some of his individual businesses have taken on separate investments.

  • Feastables raised $5 million in January at a $50 million valuation, from 776, Shrug Capital and Sugar Capital, per Insider.
  • While MrBeast Burger is a much larger business than Feastables, Feastables is much more profitable, one source said.
  • Feastables will bring in "tens of millions" in revenue this year, according to one source. MrBeast Burger tweeted in July that MrBeast Burger "has shared over $100 million in revenue with restaurants across America."
  • MrBeast also makes significant advertising revenue from his YouTube channels, which he says he uses to reinvest in his content.
  • Many of MrBeast's most viral videos center around elaborate philanthropic stunts and giveaways.

The big picture: YouTube stars have become ripe entities for content investors, thanks to their ability to develop cult-like followings and loyal fans.

  • Last year, Candle Media paid $3 billion in cash and stock for Moonbug Entertainment, the company behind the viral kids channel, CoComelon.
  • Night Media raised $100 million from The Chernin Group earlier this year for a new growth equity company called Night Capital that aims to link content creators to consumer businesses.
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