Influencers are making their mark on games and social media, and the latest proof of that is Streamloots‘ announcement that it has raised $5.6 million for its influencer monetization platform.
Valencia, Spain-based Streamloots received the money from Bessemer Venture Partners, Samaipata, Adam Draper, and the Creative Investment Club, a syndicate of content creator investors. Yes, it’s true. Influencers are becoming so wealthy from their YouTube and other social media followings that they’re becoming investors in their own right. It’s another company in what I call the Leisure Economy, where we can all get paid to play games.
Streamloots hopes to make them richer, or at least enable more people to make a living as streamers and influencers by giving them a robust monetization and engagement platform, said CEO Alberto Martínez Guerrero, in an interview with GamesBeat. Martínez Guerrero said that creators on average can see a 500% increase in income when Streamloops is implemented.
“The experience is unique for every creator,” Martínez Guerrero said.
The Creative Investment Club is a fund headed by popular YouTuber, Caspar Lee, and fund manager, Sasha Kaletsky. The round also includes participation from fund members and notable YouTubers Memeulous and WillNE. Lee uses Streamloots to make more money.
The capital infusion will be used to fuel the company’s user growth and development of new service offerings, with the aim of enabling content creators to establish and build their own businesses. To date, Streamloots has raised $7.2 million, and it has grown to 30 people.
Martínez Guerrero said more than 50,000 content creators are using the company’s platform.
But it wasn’t easy getting started. The founders — including Javier Pastor Sánchez, Jose Miguel González García, Vicent Martí Pérez, and Martínez Guerrero — started in 2017, starting with a cryptocurrency that they created for investors to invest money in content creators.
That didn’t work. After six months, the founders gave up and started Streamloots in January 2018 with a different idea. They created a platform for content creators. The creators, or influencers, can easily set up ways for fans to engage with them and pay money to them. As an example, a Heartstone influencer could charge money for a brief interview or create a winning deck for Hearthstone, Martínez Guerrero said. This time, Streamloots didn’t create a cryptocurrency.
“Viewers were willing to pay for content and a deeper connection with the streamer,” Martínez Guerrero said. “The creator offers interactions. They set the price for the interactions, based on our recommendations.”
Martínez Guerrero said it was a tense moment when the first creators came on board. But within one hour, one of the creators made more than $200.
“For us, that was a huge moment,” he said.
Soon enough, 100 streamers were on a waiting list. Streamloots started fleshing out the platform, creating flexibility so streamers could set it up themselves with all kinds of different ways to monetize fans.
Normally, making money can be a bit of a pain for streamers who are starting out. They have to amass an audience, and then they often rely on agencies to bring them sponsorship deals. Rivals include Stream Elements, Cameo, and Streamlabs. Amazon’s Twitch is also monetizing via its Bits coins, but the real money is being made with streaming giants like DouYu in China. Another new rival is Rally, which is using a platform called Taki to help influencers monetize.
“We target a medium-size creator who can make a living from streaming, but they are not yet monetizing the audience,” Martínez Guerrero said. “The big creators have the problem solved.”
Streamloots is moving ahead with other services for streamers, who often suffer mental health issues from the long hours and abuse from fans, and who often feel like they can’t take days off. Martínez Guerrero wants to pull together health plans, mental health counseling, and a fund that will enable the streamers to take days off without feeling like they’re losing a lot of money.
“Monetization is the first step,” Martínez Guerrero said. “The second step is mental health support, and we’ll launch other steps next year.”
Right now, Streamloots focuses on English and Spanish. But it hopes to eventually expand in places like Asia. The biggest chunk of customers currently come from the U.S., Spain, the United Kingdom, and South America.
Martínez Guerrero said he hopes to use the funding to create more product teams to build out the platform.
“We want the creator to entertain fans and make a living that way,” he said.
Creators have full customization and control of their cards, from the kind of interactions they want to offer, to the probabilities of those interactions. Streamloots is free for content creators to implement by registering through the website, plugging in the browser source link into the broadcasting software of choice, and creating and releasing the custom cards to their viewers.
If you think of the influencers and creators as the gold miners, Streamloots is supplying the picks and shovels.