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Former Niche and Brat execs raise $10M for creator economy startup

Jan 18, 2023
Illustration of a social media "like" icon made out of a $100 bill.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Goldenset Collective, a new startup cofounded by former Niche and Brat executives, has raised $10 million to help digital creators build and expand their businesses.

Why it matters: Media startup veterans see lucrative returns in financially backing early-stage creators.

How it works: Goldenset Collective plans to both invest capital in individual creators and provide operational support, such as HR, legal, marketing and business development.

  • The company has done seven deals so far, deploying about $1 million. Its creator portfolio includes Audrey Hope, Chris Sturniolo, Paige Taylor and Amanda Steele.
  • It invests about $100,000 to $150,000 per creator, on average, CEO Darren Lachtman tells Axios in an interview.

Details: Goldenset Collective is founded by Lachtman and Nick Millman, who serve as CEO and COO, respectively.

  • Rob Fishman, who co-founded Niche and Brat with Lachtman, is a board member. Millman was Niche's first employee and later joined Brat.
  • The funding round was led by A.Capital and Lerer Hippeau. Kevin Durant's Thirty Five Ventures, SV Angel, Advancit, Beliade, Habitat Partners, Cassius and others participated.

What they're saying: Ronny Conway, founder and general partner of A.Capital, had personally invested in Niche, which matched creators and brands, and in teen-focused digital media startup Brat through his firm.

  • "They've been in this creator market since the term was coined," Conway says. "It's exploded into this massive market that I believe is going to be one of the future major channels of marketing."

What's next: Goldenset Collective has four full-time staffers and plans to grow to 10 by the end of the year.

  • The team has one deal pending and plans to do another wave of about eight investments in the late summer or early fall, Lachtman says.
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