Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Scoop: Creator economy-focused SamCart raises $85 million

Illustration of a loading screen with a dollar on it

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

SamCart, a sales platform aimed at content creators, unveiled an $82 million round of funding as the company seeks to expand its business.

  • Eldridge led the round, while other investors including TTV Capital, Fin VC, the George Kaiser Foundation, and eGateway Capital also joined.

Why it matters: SamCart bills itself as an "e-commerce platform for creators," but it's gearing up to look more and more like a fintech.

  • "Revenue is largely subscription[-based] right now, but we're getting more and more into payments," CEO Brian Moran tells Axios exclusively.
  • "We're going to be putting a lot more effort into it after this round... it's turned into a huge focus of ours," he said.

Context: The so-called creator economy boomed amid the pandemic as individuals — bored from lockdowns or hustling to find a second source of income — turned into single-person businesses.

  • As a result, a whole new host of consumer-like startups have popped up seeking to make businesses of one feel like they have the support of a larger team.
  • Found, a banking startup for so called "solopreneurs," raised $60 million. LTK, a marketplace for advertisers to match with influencers, gained a $2 billion valuation last year.

Yes, but: Pandemic-fueled trends have slowed more recently and competition from incumbents like Shopify has increased.

  • Moran says, at least for now, his company has not seen a slowdown and is still in high-growth mode, with plans to go from 95 heads to 200 by the end of the year.

How it works: SamCart's allows creators to build point-of-sale webpages to more effectively sell their goods and services via for example cross-selling and upselling.

  • While the company allows its solopreneurs to sell any kind of goods, its users skews toward digital products, with SamCart offering specialized templates for online courses and eBooks.

What's next: Last year, payments totaled about 14.5% of the company's revenue mix. This year, it's projecting 26.6%.

  • It works with several payments processors, though Stripe is its largest by volume. SamCart charges its payment processor a referral fee for bringing them new customers.
  • Meaning the more each customers sell, the higher SamCart's revenue as well.
  • The company, which says it has dealt with over $2.2 billion in payments to date, is also planning to launch its own white-label payment processing solution — SamPay— allowing the company to move away from a referral model and increase its payments revenue.
Go deeper