Axios Pro: Media Deals

November 30, 2023

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Good morning, Media Deals readers!

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1 big thing: Talent-run communities

Jack Harlow talks to Taylor Lautner and his wife, also Taylor Lautner, before a Detroit Lions game in October. Photo: Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images

From TikTok to Tumblr, brands have myriad ways to connect with fans. One startup, backed by a talent agency, wants to make it easier for individuals and companies to understand and monetize those communities.

Driving the news: MITH has raised $3.5 million in seed funding for building a fan relationship platform, executives tell Kerry.

Why it matters: The startup is a test case for the value of web3 and blockchain technology.

How it works: MITH offers community forums, content like photos, videos, text and livestreams, and commerce β€” physical and digital β€” to fans through tiered memberships.

  • Jack Harlow, who serves as a founding talent adviser along with Emilia Clarke and Halle Berry, launched on MITH earlier this month. His Private Garden members can access pre-show parties during his tour, exclusive content and limited edition apparel.
  • The company plans to operate with a SaaS model, charging clients a monthly fee and a percentage of revenue.
  • MITH's first project, Private Garden, is built on Polygon, though the team is also working with other blockchain partners.

Details: Management and production firm Range Media Partners, which is backed by Point72 Ventures and A+E Networks, incubated MITH in 2022. It maintains a minority stake. Range CEO Peter Micelli serves as chairman of MITH.

  • Range managing partner Natalie Bruss tells Axios that she shares a vision with MITH CEO Michelle Sanchez and her team on using web3 "to give artists more power and ownership and control of their distribution and their relationships with their audience."
  • MITH has five full-time employees. Range and TinyWins β€” a product and design studio whose co-founder Matty Ayers is also a co-founder and acting chief product officer for MITH β€” provide resources.
  • Warner Music Group, CMT Digital, Winklevoss Capital, Synergis Capital, The Near Foundation, 4RC and Alpha Praetorian Capital participated in the round, which closed earlier this year.

What's next: MITH plans to launch a self-serve platform early next year.

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