Mighty Networks, a SaaS platform for online communities, announced it raised $50 million in Series B funding which will allow the platform to expedite product development, expand payment options and move into new markets. This funding round was led by Owl Ventures with Ziff Capital Partners and LionTree Partners joining existing investors Intel Capital, Marie Forleo, Gretchen Rubin, Dan Rosensweig, Reid Hoffman, BBG Ventures, Lucas Venture Group, and Great Oaks Venture Capital. The company has raised $67 million since its launch in 2017.
Developing a creator middle class
The focus of Mighty Networks is building a creator middle class based on community memberships, events and online courses. Among its users are yoga teacher Adriene Mishler, Mindbody, Sophia Amoruso (Girlboss), Luvvie Ajayi Jones, apparel company Oiselle, TED conference, and Peter Diamandis (Singularity).
“Content alone will kill the creator economy,” said Gina Bianchini, Mighty Networks founder and CEO, in an April 26 news release.
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“We can't build a thriving creator movement on an exhausting, unfair dynamic where content creators rent audiences from big tech platforms, are required to produce a never-ending stream of content, and get paid pennies for it, if they get paid at all. Creators need to own their own community on the Internet, where members meet each other and get results and transformation from courses, memberships, and events. As more creators, brands, and coaches adopt this shift, we have the opportunity to unlock new forms of ownership and a thriving creator middle class,” Bianchini added.
Mighty Networks uses a tiered freemium model, allowing users to create their own branded apps on iOS, iPad and Android and to charge their members a fee. The revenue share Mighty Networks takes is based on the plan creators choose. For example, The Free Plan allows creators to have unlimited members, up to three hosts, charge membership fees, and they pay 5% to Mighty Networks plus credit card processing fees. Users can add on community design master for an additional fee. Mighty Networks also offers The Business Plan (2% revenue share) and The Community Plan (3% revenue share), each with different features and benefits.
Amit Patel, managing director of Own Ventures, shared why his firm chose to invest in Mighty Networks.
“We were impressed by Mighty Networks even before we met the company,” said Patel. “No company in this space has more loyal, passionate believers. When we saw firsthand that creators could successfully build paid communities and online courses on a Mighty Network with as few as 30 members, we wanted to be a part of unlocking this creator middle class for a million more creators. It's a testament to founders Gina Bianchini, Tim Herby, and Thomas Aaron that Mighty Networks has made it so easy for new creators and established brands to create successful communities people need now more than ever.”
The company’s target market is creators earning more than $30,000 a year from digital subscriptions and payments. In a year, Mighty Networks grew new customers by 200% and payments by 400% with thousands of new creators joining the platform monthly.
Mighty Networks and similar services have proven the power and value of online creators and their communities. Creators are looking for a way to connect directly with their fans, while retaining control and raising revenue to continue and expand their operations. It is exciting to see platforms like Mighty Networks spring up that target a different type of creator, offering opportunities for creators of all types and earning capabilities to build their brands and expand their communities. The future looks bright for Mighty Networks and its creators.