The how-to-build-a-business platform Pietra has teamed with United Talent Agency to establish a $500,000 Creator Fund.
Select UTA talent will be given the opportunity to launch their product lines and brands using Pietra. Launched in January, Pietra’s Creator Hub has helped more than 20,000 creators start their own brands and product lines. Fashion is the most popular category and the sector accounts for more than half of the users, according to Pietra’s cofounder and chief executive officer Ronak Trivedi. Fashion is followed by beauty, candies and fragrances, and jewelry in terms of leading categories.
The aim is to provide funding to as many UTA creators as possible, Trivedi said.
The New York-based Pietra was valued at $75 million in June, after raising $15 million in Series A funding led by Founders Fund with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, TQ Ventures, Abstract Ventures and other strategic investors. Pietra previously raised an additional $5 million through such investors as Robert Downey Jr., Will Smith and others. Pietra has a team of about 17 people.
The decision to partner with UTA stemmed partially from the organization’s commitment to the creator economy through investment and in-house executives who are committed to the digital-first talent they represent. “They stepped up, they moved quickly and their clients really love them. We did a bunch of reference checks as well,” Trivedi said.
Neither Pietra nor UTA will have a stake in any of the entrepreneurs’ businesses that receive funding. “We’re trying to build a future, where these creators own their businesses and they can control their futures, by having the same [degree of] creative and financial control that they have over their content. We are building a system that empowers the creators with technology and tools,” Trivedi said.
Pietra and UTA will work together to evaluate and select talent that is most likely to succeed. “We look at authenticity, their audience and all the things that we can to set these creators up for success,” Trivedi said, adding that the goal is for the selected creators to grow far beyond the fund. “We are helping each creator understand their audience, where they can sell, what their audience wants, what they should make, what’s authentic for their brand.”
Through the online platform’s Creator Hub, users can line up suppliers, arrange for international fulfillment, develop packaging and launch e-commerce. Some have done so relying on leading factories and starting an online business in less than 90 days.
The breadth of up-and-coming designers ranges from those seeking less than 100 units of a product to those in need of “tens of thousands” of units or more. Pricing varies based on scale, with some fashion and beauty brands starting with an investment of a couple thousand dollars or even less than $1,000. Through direct contact with suppliers, designers and start-ups request rates for production runs so that people know upfront the cost of producing however many units that they are seeking. At the other end, the maximum investment is uncapped.