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Creator economy startup Trips raises $2.5M

Nov 2, 2023
illustration of a brown price tag with video play buttons on it

Illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios

Trips has raised $2.5 million in pre-seed funding for building a platform that helps content creators protect and sell stakes in their intellectual property, CEO Michael Finkelstein tells Axios.

Why it matters: Investor interest in the creator economy remains strong at a time when VCs are pulling back broadly.

How it works: Trips allows creators to authenticate themselves and mint their copyright on the blockchain. The platform is built on the Avalanche Evergreen Subnet. It only supports YouTube videos, but the company plans to add more platforms.

  • The platform also allows creators to sell partial ownership of their intellectual property. Investors can analyze a creator's content and data and then can choose to buy partial ownership of the creator's work.
  • Trips plans to make money by charging a monthly fee to potential investors using the platform.

Of note: "These are theirs, just like they own a home, just like they own a car. This is their intellectual property," Finkelstein says.

  • He previously helped lead the dance music label Strictly Rhythm Records, which sold to BMG Rights Management in 2012. He then founded The Credit Junction, which was shut down in 2019.

Details: Shima Capital led the round, which closed in September. Animal Capital, Blackwood Ventures, Serafund, Calligraphy Digital, Blizzard and the Avalanche Ecosystem Fund also participated.

  • Trips has four full-time employees. Margot Taylor, who worked with Finkelstein at The Credit Junction, serves as chief commercial officer.
  • Finkelstein says he will explore raising more capital early next year.
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