Seeking nominations for the top investors in the digital creator and influencer industry

Benjamin Grubbs, founder and CEO of Next 10 Ventures.
Benjamin Grubbs, founder and CEO of Next 10 Ventures.

Next 10 Ventures

  • Business Insider is putting together a power list of the top venture capital and investment professionals who are funding companies focused on the creator economy.

  • We want to hear from you on which investors have been the most innovative and impactful in the industry.

  • Please submit your ideas through this form by June 1.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The influencer business has exploded in the past few years with new startups springing up to service creators (and turn a profit) during the social-media content boom.

Many of these companies are raising capital from investors. Both traditional and upstart investors are making bets on the creator category, where influencer marketing alone is expected to grow into a $15 billion industry by 2022. 

“YouTube was an enabler or an instigator of going from an amateur hobby into a real business,” said Benjamin Grubbs, founder and CEO of Next 10 Ventures, a venture firm focused on making investments in creator companies. “There’s an industry and there’s an overall economy here. This isn’t something that’s going to kind of peter out, but that’s actually going to be continuing to grow.”

Internet stars work with a variety of third-party companies to support their content production work, brand partnerships, direct-to-consumer sales, digital rights management, and other business functions that have become necessary in the creator economy.

Grubbs’ Next 10 raised $50 million for its inaugural fund in 2018, and has since invested in companies across the creator landscape, including the digital rights management company SuperBam, the podcast sponsorship marketplace Podcorn, and the creator community Influence.co. 

Other investors have tapped into direct-to-consumer opportunities that have emerged as digital creators have shown they can drive product sales through their personality-based brands. 

The creator-focused investment company Kombo Ventures recently worked with YouTube stars Ethan and Grayson Dolan to launch a direct-to-consumer fragrance company, Wakeheart, which “moved over 20,000 units” in its most recent fragrance drop, according to Kombo CEO Kevin Gould.

Whether adapting existing business services used by legacy TV or print media to the specific needs of a digital creator, or inventing new business lines that are unique to the social-media landscape, a slew of companies in the creator space are popping up to meet the needs of a new generation of digital stars.

Business Insider is putting together a power list of the top venture capital and investment players who are fueling these startups that are shaping the creator economy. The list will be determined by Business Insider based on our reporting and the nominations that we receive, and will take into consideration factors like the success of the companies they’ve invested in and their impact on the influencer business as a whole.

We want to hear from you. Who are the venture capital and investment professionals innovating and driving growth in the industry?

Please submit your ideas through this form (or below) by June 1:

Contact the authors at: [email protected] and [email protected] with any questions. 

Check out our other power lists on Business Insider Prime for an idea of how this list will look: 

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