NEW YORK, NY — Hype (formerly known as Pico), an all-in-one marketing and payments platform that helps creators and small businesses grow and monetize their online audience on and off social media, is announcing its relaunch along with $10M in Series A funding, bringing the company’s total financing to nearly $22M to date. With this new name, Hype will serve a new generation of entrepreneurs looking to turn their personal brand into a fully-fledged business.
The newest round of funding was led by King River Capital, with follow-on participation from existing investors Bullpen Capital, Precursor Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, Tapestry VC and Sterling Road. The capital will be used to further expand Hype’s product offerings and assist small businesses transitioning to audience-first marketing, as entrepreneurs increasingly embrace the idea of creating content and community before product. With this capital, Hype also plans to explore new opportunities for partnerships and acquisitions across the creator economy this year.
Hype gives anyone building a business the power to bring relationships with their fans and followers off social media to where there are more tools and freedom to communicate and monetize. This is made possible with Hype’s all-in-one platform, which enables creators to build a website in minutes, earn revenue from subscriptions and tips, send text message blasts to followers, and track key business analytics and insights — all from their phone.
“The creator economy is converging with the small business economy,” said Nick Chen, CEO and Co-Founder of Hype. “Entrepreneurs today are launching brands and products with content and community at the core of their business. Long gone are the days of social media serving as just a post-launch megaphone. We designed Hype to accelerate this movement and give creators of all types the necessary audience engagement and revenue tools previously only available to larger businesses.”
Hype’s platform bundles key marketing and revenue tools for creators, available through its new collection of Hype Kits. With 11 premade Kits available at launch, Hype aims to provide the most relevant tools to anyone looking to activate and monetize the online community they’ve built, regardless of their platform or business model. New and existing users of Hype can choose the Kit that best fits their needs and expect an increasingly personalized product experience over time, as Hype continues to develop its intelligence around success factors in the new small business economy.
Each Hype Kit can be customized with various features, including:
- A pre-designed web page that creators can further customize and use as their link-in-bio across social media.
- A drag-and-drop mobile website builder that makes it easy to share rich media links, collect contact information from visitors, sell memberships or ask for tips.
- An enterprise-grade CRM that enables creators to identify their most engaged fans, send text message blasts to their entire audience and integrate popular newsletter tools like Mailchimp and ConvertKit.
- Built-in revenue tools to collect tips and sell recurring subscriptions and memberships.
- A website plugin to create premium, paywalled content experiences on personal websites.
- Intelligent analytics and insights that respond to an entrepreneur’s growing business and shifting needs.
“The audience-driven small business economy is just getting started, and Hype is perfectly positioned to power it,” said Megan Guy, Co-Founder and General Partner at King River Capital, who has joined the company’s board in conjunction with the capital raise. “Hype’s fun, customized kits will help anyone who’s building a business — from podcasters to coaches to dog trainers — convert their online following into revenue much more efficiently.”
To date, Hype creators and entrepreneurs have earned over $30M in revenue and collected more than four million email and phone contacts using the platform’s suite of marketing and revenue tools. Hype operates on a freemium model, with more capabilities available as add-ons, depending on one's business needs. The startup’s goal is to become the creator's virtual business manager, providing a personalized combination of tools and tips to manage their brand, engage with followers off-platform and earn money.
Hype is an all-in-one marketing and payments platform that equips entrepreneurs with the tools and insights to turn their social media audience into a growth engine for their business. Founded in 2016, the company is supporting the next generation of small business owners using audience-first marketing to build communities and deeper relationships with fans and customers. For more information, visit hype.co.
ABOUT KING RIVER CAPITAL
King River Capital is a leading venture capital firm that invests in high-growth technology businesses and digital assets. Since its launch in 2019, King River has raised three funds and has committed capital to over twenty companies across North America and Australia, including Discord, Immutable, Cover Genius, Paystand, and Stride Health. For more information, visit kingriver.co.
The Creator HQ
Join thousands of creators and build landing pages, grow your audience, and get paid on your terms, all in one place.