Yeah, funding for creator-focused startups is drying up

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Services that help folks make, share and profit from creative works — Maven to Bounty to Substack to Patreon to Canva — have proliferated and grown in recent years.

The rise of creator-focused startups was not an accident; instead, a secular trend of more accessible software for more diverse areas of creative work was met with a COVID-induced economic reshuffling and a gain in the amount of time the average person spent consuming in the ensuing quarters. Advertising spending rose as well. The confluent factors led to a boom in creator-focused startup activity that got busy in 2020 and continued into 2021.

However, recent data indicates that startups in the creator-focused market are raising fewer venture capital rounds, limiting total investment in the technology category.

What’s going on?

The waning pandemic is perhaps contributing to the slowdown in funding for creator-themed startups; after all, with folks back in the world, products and services that focus on IRL things are perhaps more in vogue than what we might create or consume at home. But there’s more at play.

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