Featured on Fundsup: Fangage.com – Liberating creators with a fully branded fan engagement and monetization platform

Photo © Darryl Adelaar

Every week we feature a new startup at Fundsup that forces a radical breakthrough. This time we chat with Sam Feldt, artist and founder of Fangage.com.

Sam, What exactly are you doing? 

A few years ago, I saw that I had over a million followers on my social media accounts as an artist but realized they were not really mine. Due to complicated algorithms and organic reach being at an all-time low, I was only reaching about 2% of my followers. If I wanted to reach more of them, I had to spend money on ads to target my very own followers who even opted into staying updated about me by clicking the “follow” button. I thought that was ridiculous. Why don’t I have access to my own followers? And why is someone (Mark Zuckerberg and his platforms) standing in between me and my fans, disrupting the relationship?

Out of that frustration, Fangage was born. Fangage allows creators to take back control of their fanbase, and engage & monetize fans directly – cutting out the unnecessary middleman. 

Where do you see its main application?

Anyone with a followers base and content to share can use Fangage to own, engage and monetize their fans. Our roots are in the music industry, but we’ve recently also seen an influx from esports teams, athletes, events companies and influencers. For me, this proves that the problem I was facing that led me to build Fangage is omnipresent. Everyone is struggling to reach their fans on third party platforms, and instead of being able to build a brand and business around them, creators are being forced to pay a third party to get access to their own followers. 

Fangage solves this problem by offering creators an easy way to set up their own, fully-branded fan platform where fans can unlock exclusive content & experiences. By signing up, fans share their data with the creator which allows the creator to reach 100% of their fans directly through email, text and voice campaigns. This way, the fan-creator relationship is transparent and it’s a win-win situation. Fans get exclusive access, creators get data ownership.

More recently, we’ve launched a brand new feature called Paid Content & Subscriptions, which allows any creator to sell content and memberships to fans directly. Instead of charging creators a hefty 20% commission on everything they make, Fangage just charges them a small processing fee. Creators get paid out directly to their Stripe account, and there are no minimum payouts. 

“Fangage offers creators an easy way to set up their own, fully-branded fan platform where fans can unlock exclusive content & experiences.“

What is the impact of your business?

By giving creators data ownership and a way to monetize their fans directly, we are liberating them from third party social media and membership platforms, enabling them to build independent brands and careers. With Fangage, the creator and their fans are in charge of their relationship – not a third party platform where they are treated as a product. Creators no longer have to hope their posts do well, let alone pay to reach their following. They have direct access, which allows them to promote their content, events, merchandise or anything else important to them in a much more effective way. By using our paid content feature, we give creators even more freedom, by allowing them to set up a whole new recurring revenue stream and sell individual pieces of content. This way, they no longer have to rely on a distributor, label or agency to get them paid for the content they produce. 

Where do you stand right now?

We’ve just reached 1000+ creators on our platform, after launching in November 2020. We feel like the pandemic, alongside the current hype around the creator economy, puts Fangage in the perfect position to grow exponentially in 2021 by offering a platform that is priced to be the most affordable and built to be the most powerful. We’ve built an amazing product and team, and have proven product-market fit across verticals. Now, we’re looking to scale up to become the #1 fan engagement and monetization platform worldwide by 2023.

Who has invested in you and what kind of investors are you looking for?

Up to this point, Fangage is 100% self-funded between me and my business partner Nick Velten (our current CEO). We have raised €300K in crowdfunding in the holding company to finance part of the development process, get partners on board in a non-cash equity construction and give current users the possibility to invest in the platform they love. The current Seed round is being raised in the Fangage company itself, which is 100% owned by the holding company and has no outside investors. 

What would be the ideal investor match?

In this round, we’re looking to attract around 10 investors to raise our €2 million in seed capital. Ideally, these investors would bring in knowledge, network and access to industries Fangage is looking to grow in. For example, someone who is well connected in the fitness space, a K-Pop manager, and a SAAS veteran from Silicon Valley would all fit our criteria. We’re looking to build a solid group of early believers that not only help fund growth but are also excited about our vision and willing to act as ambassadors for the company. 

Best of luck with everything!

Thanks, check out our pitch deck in the Fundsup app: https://api.fundsup.co/go/AGCgEAZzFe