Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Creator startup Spotter doesn't predict cuts from recession fears

Kerry Flynn
Jun 17, 2022
Illustration of a social media "like" icon made out of a $100 bill.
Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Unlike other media-tech companies, Spotter isn't predicting dramatic cuts in response to the market turmoil.

Why it matters: As other startups and tech giants lay off staffers or slow hiring, Spotter executives say they're hiring.

How it works: Spotter is an LA-based startup that gives YouTube creators cash in exchange for licensing their back catalogs.

By the numbers: Spotter grew from 20 employees to about 100 over the past year.

  • "We wanted to put most of the capital into creators' hands, and so we kept our overheard really low," CEO Aaron DeBevoise says. "We've just gotten to 100 people, and I think [other] people in our positions may have gotten to 1,000 people pretty fast."
  • It plans to have about 13o to 140 employees by the end of the year. That level is "probably a good point for us to check in and go, 'Okay, is this all going well?'"

Details: Spotter says it's profitable. The company declined to disclose revenue figures. Its last funding round of $200 million, led by Softbank Vision Fund 2, valued the company at $1.7 billion.

  • Spotter has deployed about $450 million to creators to date across about 300 deals — some of which are second or third deals with the same creators. The deals have ranged from $10,000 to $40 million and typically last five years.

Yes, but: DeBevoise says Spotter is hiring at a slower pace, though not "because of the economy" but rather to evaluate their needs as they start to build out more departments, including a marketing team.

  • "We've been super focused on making sure everything we're doing is real and rooted in the numbers," COO Nic Paul says.

What's next: DeBevoise says his team has considered acquisitions such as tools for creators or companies focused on community.

Go deeper