Karat Financial, a financial services platform for creators, has raised $26 million in funding. Union Square Ventures led the round.
Los Angeles, Calif. (July 1, 2021) — Karat Financial, the first black card and financial services platform for creators, announced a combined $26M in funding, including $15M in debt financing and an $11M Series A. The round was led by Union Square Ventures, with participation from GGV Capital and SignalFire, and over 20 world-renowned artists & creators, including Jared Leto, Josh Richards (25M+ on TikTok), 3LAU (2.5M+ on Spotify), Graham Stephan (3M+ on YT), Carter Sharer (8M+ YT) and Alexandra Botez (800K+ Twitch). Since its launch last June, the company has witnessed viral growth and emerged as the industry leader in providing financial solutions that meet the needs of the world’s top creators.
Co-founded by former Instagram Product Manager Eric Wei and former VC Will Kim, Karat designs financial products exclusively for the creator economy. Today, the industry is one of the fastest-growing business sectors with an estimated value of $100B, and there are more than 3.2M creators earning over six figures a year. However, with no set monthly income and a variety of revenue streams, high-earning creators are far too often denied access to capital to grow their businesses.
Using proprietary underwriting, Karat Financial analyzes creators’ cross-platform success and audience engagement, which no other bank is doing, and offers the easiest access to capital without the steep fees or high interest rates. Applying is easy. Just apply online at https://trykarat.com/, fill out your application in 5 minutes and hear back within 24 hours.
“We understand the dynamics of creator businesses, including what makes them successful. Our average member has an annual income of $500K, millions of followers with over $50K in savings, but they have been denied capital because banks still use outdated metrics like FICO scores,” said Eric Wei, co-CEO and co-founder of Karat Financial. “We recognize these high-net-worth creators as the successful businesses and brands of tomorrow and our goal is to be the financial system that powers them.”
“I experienced a lot of the bias first-hand, and was denied a business credit card several times by banks just because the nature of my business isn’t what they are used to seeing. There are literally thousands just like me who aren’t valued or understood by legacy financial institutions,” said Alexandra Botez, founder of BotezLive. “Karat Financial is a true partner that gets my business and has bespoke solutions to support it. I believe in the business so much as a cardholder, that I also jumped at the chance to invest.”
In addition to better limits, Karat Financial offers creators a simple way to manage their finances and save money with customized card rewards and perks. Notable creators like Josh Richards, Griffin Johnson, Lenny Rachitsky, Carter Sharer, TierZoo, Sam Kolder, Wendover Productions, Lizzy Capri, TheRussianBadger, Nas Daily, Real Engineering, 3LAU, Graham Stephan, Alexandra Botez, and more trust Karat to optimize their businesses beyond the hype cycle.
“Creators are catalyzing a new wave of distributed entrepreneurship, but even the most successful creators are locked out of traditional banking services,” said Andy Weissman, managing partner at Union Square Ventures. “Eric and Will have designed an entirely new way for creators to get the financing and support they need, and they’ve validated this model with impressive traction since launch. We’re excited to partner with them as they innovate beyond charge cards and fuel the growth of the ecosystem now and well into the future.”
To join the hundreds of creators around the globe who use Karat Financial, visit www.trykarat.com and get started today.
Karat Financial is building a better financial infrastructure for creators. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company is on a mission to build a banking system that understands the creator business model, and provides financial tools that creators need to manage their businesses as they grow. Karat Financial is backed by Union Square Ventures, SignalFire, Y Combinator, CRV and Coatue and strategic investors such as Kevin Lin, co-founder of Twitch; Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter; Michael Ovitz, founder of CAA; Jared Leto; Kevin Mayer, former CEO of TikTok; Steven Chen, co-founder of YouTube; Adam Nash, former CEO of Wealthfront; Standard, a community of top creators at standard.tv, and many more. To learn more, visit www.trykarat.com