8. 1 2020 thing: TikTok mega-star pivots to VC investing
Josh Richards is joining Remus Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm, as a Venture Partner, Axios has learned.
- Richards, 18, has more than 22 million followers on TikTok and is an angel investor, and the Chief Strategy Officer at Triller.
- Remus invests in startups that cater to Gen-Z, like boutique fitness app ClassPass.
Why it matters: So much of being a good early-stage investor is about having a unique network to find hot companies early—so it’s no surprise a VC firm sees value in an influencer like Richards, who, along with his TikTok following, has already ventured into podcasts and is working for Triller.
- Equally unsurprising is that young TikTok stars like Richards want to use their fortunes to become professional tech investors.
- They’ve grown up with smartphones and have been exposed to the culture of investing through collaborations with even bigger stars and celebrities.
- They live in Los Angeles, which has a local tech industry of its own right (not to mention tech role models like Snap’s Evan Speigel).
Details: Richards rose to fame this year alongside several other young, male creators as members of the "Sway House," one of the prominent TikTok creator collaboratives, headquartered in a mansion in Bel Air.
- Richards and fellow "Sway House" TikTok stars Bryce Hall and Griffin Johnson have already used some of their TikTok earnings to invest in a few early stage media and tech startups.
- Richards left the Sway House earlier this year to focus on investing and other projects. He will still serve as CSO of Triller, the rival TikTok app.
The big picture: Financial advice on TikTok is a growing theme, for better or worse. Young TikTok users, bored at home during the pandemic, have taken to trading apps like Robinhood this year for retail trading, sometimes getting themselves into financial trouble.