Beacons raises USD6m seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz
Beacons, a business platform for social media creators, has secured USD6 million in a seed funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from Li Jin’s Atelier Ventures, The Chainsmokers’ Mantis Fund, Night Ventures, Brazilian esports organisation LOUD and Crush Music.
The new capital will fuel the company’s rapid growth by accelerating product development and hiring.
Beacons already supports more than a quarter of a million creative brands, with over 3,000 new accounts established daily. Creators and organisations using Beacons for link-in-bio include: Sia, Russell Brand, Green Day, Katie Thurston (the next Bachelorette), and Barstool Sports.
While social platforms have enabled creators to reach large audiences, the ability to engage with and monetise audiences has been stifled by first generation design infrastructure that doesn’t allow links and limits each user profile to a single URL. Beacons solves for these challenges by providing a robust mobile-first option that fosters stronger connections and enables purchases over social media platforms.
Beacons’ “link-in-bio” tool allows creators to build and customise a dedicated mobile landing page to include in profiles across social platforms, including TikTok, Instagram and Twitter. Its simple user interface and automated, personalised page setup offer both customisable theme generation and integration with existing content so creators and brands can quickly and easily direct followers to a single URL across multiple social platforms. The Beacons platform enables:
- Multiple links: capturing a creator’s entire audience, rather than being limited to a single link
- Email and SMS: allowing a creator to connect with their followers directly for effective mobile marketing
- Analytics: data-driven understanding of a creator’s audience to strategically shape future experiences
- Embedded Content: ability to promote a creator’s content across multiple content platforms
- Monetization: the ability to sell merchandise and/or services, which addresses the single biggest challenge for creators today
These features have driven rapid adoption of Beacons among creators. Since October 2020, the number of creators on Beacons has grown by 70 per cent each month.
“Whether you’re an aspiring artist establishing a brand or an influencer growing your social following into a business, experience and engagement mean everything online,” says Neal Jean, co-founder and CEO of Beacons. “Today’s content creators and consumers have more sophisticated expectations than existing social platforms allow. Cookie cutter templates no longer work. Platforms need to allow for more artistic expression. With Beacons, creators can control their destiny by directing online traffic to a custom domain that looks awesome, is shareable and ultimately generates revenue.”
According to a SignalFire report, the creator economy includes more than 50 million independent content creators, curators and community builders. Nearly two million of this cohort are professional, full-time creators, such as social media influencers, bloggers or videographers monetising their craft. The total addressable market is nearly USD6B and expected to grow rapidly — creating content is the single most desirable career path for younger generations — illustrating a vast opportunity for people to be compensated as they pursue their passion.
“Nearly half of workers age 35 and younger have a side hustle, with much of the revenue coming through social platforms," says Connie Chan, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. "Beacons provides the foundational stack for these businesses, so creators can intentionally re-direct their following as needed and even scale brand new digital revenue streams such as tips, membership fees or social commerce."
Beacons is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. The company was founded by four Stanford University postgraduate students: Neal Jean, CEO, David Zeng, CTO, Jesse Zhang, CPO and Greg Luppescu, Founding Engineer. The leadership team’s prior experience spans work at Apple, Google, Grail and the Future of Humanity Institute.
With the new capital, the company plans to significantly expand its team in the next 12 months, hiring across engineering, operations, marketing and product design.