In the rapidly growing creator economy, a significant challenge is the monetisation of content. Despite the booming market, only a small fraction of creators in India are able to monetise their work effectively.
The issue stems from the limitations of existing platforms like Instagram and Facebook, which, while democratising content creation, fail to ensure equitable value distribution among creators.
Needless to say, these platforms often change their algorithms to meet business objectives, which can disadvantage creators specialising in certain content formats, leading to reduced reach and engagement.
For instance, a micro-creator with around 10,000 followers might struggle to sustain their community's interest over time, making it difficult to attract brand engagement. This challenge is exacerbated by the platforms' shifting focus, such as a sudden preference for longer content, which can marginalise creators who specialise in shorter formats.
As a result, creators find it challenging to maintain relevance and grow their audience amidst these changing algorithms and content trends.
Fanztar addresses this gap by creating a closer connection between followers and creators.
Who are the founders?
An IIT Delhi graduate, Himanshu Garg’s career began in tech at Delhivery, an Indian logistics giant, where he developed skills in digital product design and financial technology.
Later, he shifted to the healthcare sector, contributing to a startup that had a significant impact on public health in India, particularly in screening for anemia.
But Himanshu was driven by a desire to create something impactful, so he founded Fanztar, along with his batchmate Sahil Singla in September 2022.
Sahil Singla finished his bachelor's degree in Textile Engineering and a minor in Computer Science in 2015 from IIT Delhi. He then worked at the well-known online shopping platform Snapdeal as a Software Engineer.
In June 2018, he left Snapdeal and joined the Berlin-based company Zalando as an engineer. Later, he was promoted to Senior Software Developer.
How did Fanztar start?
Fanztar helps social media creators monetise their content by allowing fans to own a share of their income. This concept is relatively new in India and aims to create a more interactive and mutually beneficial relationship between creators and their audiences.
Although Fanztar is a well-known platform, the journey wasn't easy. Himanshu faced challenges in educating creators about the new concept his platform offered. He spent a lot of time in understanding their concerns and adapted the product to meet their needs.
Although financial growth was a primary goal, Himanshu was more focused on creating a positive impact on the lives of creators and their fans.
What Does Fanztar Do?
Fanztar plays a pivotal role in transforming the way creators interact with their fans and monetise their content. The platform democratises content creation, enabling creators, especially those with smaller communities, to sustain their audience engagement over time.
It introduces a unique concept where creators can offer a part of their future earnings to their followers through digital or fan cards. These cards, sold on Fanztar, act as loyalty cards, offering benefits to followers and encouraging continued engagement with the creator.
Notably, This model helps creators maintain relevance and grow their audience, even during the continuous change in social media algorithms and content formats.
How Does Fanztar Work?
The operational mechanism of Fanztar is straightforward yet innovative. Creators can sign up on the Fanztar platform and create a profile to launch their fan card collection, which their followers can purchase.
These digital cards are essentially non-fungible tokens (NFTs) linked to the intellectual property rights of the content that creators will produce over a specified period. These NFTs are linked to creators' social media profiles, like Instagram or YouTube.
When someone buys a fan card, they get a chance to earn a part of the money that the creator makes in the future, such as a share of YouTube revenue.
For example, if a creator's YouTube video earns Rs 50,000, and they've agreed to share 50% of this with their fan card holders, then these cardholders will get a share of this income. They receive this money through Fanztar, either as cash or as credits in their wallet.
Besides this, cardholders receive virtual bonuses like exclusive masterclasses or meet-and-greet opportunities with the creator. The platform charges a commission of 20-25% on sales of these cards, which is higher than other marketplaces due to the additional services and value it provides.
Facilitating brand-creator connections
Apart from this, Fanztar facilitates brand-creator connections, helping brands identify creators who can drive purchase decisions within their communities.
Fanztar's approach to the creator economy is focused on long-term community building and engagement, which is central to sustainable monetisation for creators.
This innovative model is redefining the creator-fan relationship in the country, making it more interactive and mutually beneficial.
Fanztar growth and creator selection
So far, Fanztar has onboarded more than 1,000 creators onto its platform, which has sold about 44,000 fan cards.
The platform mainly focuses on creators who have a following of 10,000 to 500,000 people. At present, the startup works with creators who make content in English and Hindi, but plans to include more languages in the future.
Funding & Investors
In May 2022, Fanztar raised Rs 5 crore in its Seed funding round led by India Quotient, a venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage investments.
Additionally, the startup also raised capital from several prominent angel investors, including founders of ShareChat - Ankush Sachdeva, Bhanu Pratap Singh, and Farid Ahsan, as well as Sarthak Misra from Softbank India, Manohar Charan, the CFO of ShareChat, and Tarsame Mittal from TM Ventures.
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