Mighty Networks, a platform designed to give creators and brands a dedicated place to start and grow communities, has closed on $50 million in a Series B funding by Owl Ventures. Ziff Capital Partners and LionTree Partners also participated in the financing, along with existing backers Intel Capital, Marie Forleo, Gretchen Rubin, Dan Rosensweig, Reid Hoffman, BBG Ventures, and Lucas Venture Group. The its 2017 inception to $67 million.
Mighty Networks founder and CEO Gina Bianchini — who started the company with Tim Herby and Thomas Aaron — is no stranger to building. Previously, she was the CEO and co-founder of Ning, where she led the company’s rapid growth to three worldwide in three years. With Mighty Networks, Bianchini’s goal is to build “a creator middle class” founded on community memberships, events, and courses.
“We have a platform for people to create communities how they would create e-commerce stores,” she told . “So what Shopify has done for e-commerce, we’re doing for digital subscriptions and digital payments where the value is around a community that is mastering something interesting or important together and not just content alone.” The company’s flagship is aimed at new creators to give them an easy way to get started with digital subscriptions, Bianchini said. Established brands, organizations, and successful creators use its Mighty Pro plan to get everything Mighty Networks offers on its branded iOS, iPad, and .
Mighty Networks, a SaaS business, has seen impressive growth. In 2020, ARR climbed by “2.5x” while annual customer growth rose by 200%. Customers are defined as paying creators who host their community, courses, and events on their own Mighty Network. The company also saw a 400% annual growth in payments, or instead in subscriptions and fees where a creator or brand will sell a membership or an online course.
The pandemic was a boon to the business, and the launch of live events . “We were able to help many businesses quickly move online — from yoga studios to leadership speakers and consultants — and now that the world is coming back, they’ll be able to use the features that we’ve built into the platform from day one around finding members, events and groups near them, as well as making everything via not just the web but for mobile apps,” Bianchini said.
One of the startup’s goals is to help understand that they don’t need massive followers (such as 1 million followers on TikTok) to be successful creators. For example, a 30 people for a subscription worth around $1,000 can still pull in $30,000 a year. So while it’s not huge, it’s undoubtedly still substantial — hence the company’s intent to build a “creator middle class.”
Mighty Networks has over 10,000 paying creators, brands, and coaches today. Users star Adriene Mishler, Xprize and Singularity University founder Peter Diamandis, author Luvvie Ajayi Jones, comedian Amanda Seales, Girlboss founder Sophia Amoruso and brands such as the TED conference and wellness scheduling platform MINDBODY.