Koji, the link-in-bio startup, offers hundreds of apps that enable creators to customize and monetize their content. Within the next few years, the company hopes to become the app store of the creator economy.
The background: Based in San Diego, Koji offers a link-in-bio service that integrates with hundreds of different apps created by Koji and its community of independent developers. The apps — ranging from Ask Me Anything forums and quizzes to scheduling tools and crowdfunding — give creators on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitch tools to engage and monetize their fans.
Traction: About 50,000 creators already use Koji’s service — up from about 17,000 in June, according to The Information. Founded in 2016, Koji has raised about $16 million in venture capital through its parent company, GoMeta, which is led by former Google executive Dmitry Shapiro.
Generating revenue: The company’s link-in-bio service and apps are free, however, Koji takes a cut of creators’ fans’ purchases, ranging from 15 to 5 percent. According to ZoomInfo, its revenue for last year was <$5 million.
Leadership clout: Koji recently hired a new COO, Annie Morita, a former Apple executive that led the App Store and Apple Media Products in China. Morita brings Koji a breadth of operational experience as she helped cultivate one of the most world’s largest and most lucrative app stores.
"The same way the introduction of the iPhone and the App Store disrupted incumbents like Nokia and Blackberry, and radically transformed what we do with the device in our pocket, Koji is transforming the entire creator economy to be a more integrated and equitable environment for creators and consumers. The sheer scale of Koji's vision and velocity of execution is extremely unique, and I am excited to lead the next phases of evolution." —Koji COO Annie Morita
Dare Me: Popular creators have already launched apps on Koji, including the Tik Tok content house Breezy House. The Breezy Boys — who’ve amazed more than 11 million followers on Tik Tok combined — launched Dare Me on Koji, which allows creators to monetize dares and challenges given to them by their followers.
"Koji provides the infrastructure to rapidly launch and scale new modes of interaction, and we're excited Breezy Boys chose Koji as the place to launch Dare Me. We believe the next wave of the creator economy will be driven by creators themselves launching apps and becoming product owners." —Koji CEO Dmitry Shapiro
Competition: Koji’s top competitor is Linktree, - which has over 2.8 million users - is a tool that allows users to share multiple links on their social media channels. Linktree recently raised $45 million in venture capital and partnered with PayPal to enable payments — a move the company hopes will attract more creators. Linktree dominates the link-in-bio space with an 88 percent market share.
Others lurk: While Linktree enjoys market dominance, the link-in-bio market is becoming more competitive. In addition to Koji, Feedlink by EmbedSocial has become a popular alternative, as well as Snipfeed, which raised $5.5 million earlier in August. Beacons is another viable contender and recently raised $6 million in May.
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