The creator movement is entering primetime, and so is Circle with a fresh $4M

The creator movement has exploded in the last few years as platforms ranging from Substack to Clubhouse have made it easier than ever to reach an audience of willing readers and listeners. Yet the key to building sustainable creator businesses is the economics of these enterprises themselves. Get enough subscribers, and what often starts as a side hobby can quickly become a full-time job.

Circle was founded in January 2020 to make engaging with paying customers and thus building creator businesses as effortless as possible. We profiled the NYC-based startup last year when it announced its $1.5 million seed round in August, discussing how its founder DNA originates in the online course platform Teachable. Since then, all signs point to very strong early growth.

The company surpassed $1 million ARR last month, and it already has 1,000 paying customers and is heading toward 2,000 paying communities. Usage is also growing rapidly, expanding 40-50% per month for both DAUs and MAUs, according to the company. It also brought its iOS app out of beta last month.

CEO and co-founder Sid Yadav said that “we happened to catch the tide at the right time [with] the creator movement, the community movement.” So far, paying communities have been largely centered around “a lot of YouTubers, course creators, Twitch streamers, Patreon personalities” with Yadav estimating that 60% of the platform’s communities are “personality-led.” That said, “a lot of brands are (Read more...)