11 Creator economy startups to watch out for in 2022

11 Creator economy startups to watch out for in 2022
Photo by RhondaK Native Florida Folk Artist / Unsplash

Over the last 9 months, I've profiled many startups in this newsletter.

Quite a few of them serve the creator economy.

The creator economy is a term used to describe the rising trend of creators and influencers making a living through their creative work.

On platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

The Creator economy is often called the passion economy, or the creator's economy.

But it's different from the gig economy.

The startups that I've covered have been building tools for such creators. My sense is that with time, the creator economy is only going to grow more, as more and more creators become entrepreneurs and find ways to monetize their passion.

So startups focused on serving these creators are bound to benefit over the next decade.

This is the list of 9 such startups that excite me. These are the rising creator economy companies that we all should watch out for the next decade.

For every startup, I've described its product and its business model, and where you can read more about its story.

If you're looking to build or invest in the creator economy, this list will definitely help you.

Let's go 👇

#1 Podia

  • Product: Course platform for creators.
  • Business model: Flat monthly/annual subscriptions from $39/month to $199/month.
  • Status: Profitable.
  • Website: https://www.podia.com/

Read more about Podia:

How to capture the creator economy | Podia 🎨
“Faster iterations coupled with perseverance is the best route to have a successful product -- not sleek designs or scalable code.”👆 That’s Spencer Fry’s number 1 insight after running multiple successful startups over the last 19 years. Spencer is the founder of Podia - A platform that helps

#2 Ghost

  • Product: Blogging platform for independent writers and journalists.
  • Business model: Flat monthly/annual subscriptions from $9/month to $199/month.
  • Status: Profitable.
  • Website: https://ghost.org/

Read more about Ghost:

How to reach $4.2M ARR while pursuing a mission | Ghost👻
“Ghost is being made for love, not for profit.”👆That’s a line from John O’Nolan’s intro video for Ghost’s Kickstarter campaign from back in 2013. John is the founder of Ghost.org a publishing platform for independent writers and creators to make money from their work.

#3 Tally

  • Product: No Code Form Builder
  • Business model: Freemium. Free for basic features, $29/month for Pro features.
  • Status: Not Profitable yet, $10K MRR as of February 2022.
  • Website: https://tally.so/

Read more about Tally:

How a NoCode form builder reached $8500 MRR in a crowded market📃 | Tally
“Be patient, don’t be afraid of doing the drudge work, and be ready to pivot when you need to.”👆 That’s Marie Martens’ advice to aspiring Indie Hackers. Marie is the co-founder of Tally.so. Tally is a No-Code tool to build simple online forms to collect feedback, information

#4 Carrd

  • Product: Single page, NoCode website builder.
  • Business model: Annual subscription for hosting sites. From $9/year to $49/year.
  • Status: Profitable, crossed $1M ARR. Raised funding recently.
  • Website: https://carrd.co/

Read more about Carrd:

How to reach $1M ARR with a 1-page site builder 📈| AJ of Carrd
“Constraints are superpowers”👆That’s the number 1 lesson we can all learn from AJ, the founder of Carrd. AJ is a pseudonymous startup founder who bootstrapped the single-page site builder Carrd to more than $1M ARR in 5 years. Before Carrd, AJ had seen success with projects such as html5up

#5 Every

  • Product: Business newsletter bundle.
  • Business model: Monthly and Annual subscriptions. $20/month or $200/year
  • Status: Profitable.
  • Website: https://every.to/

Read more about Every:

Building A Winning Bundle🏆 | Every
“The magic of writing is that it can make readers feel less alone in the world. The magic of a writer collective is, perhaps, that it can make writers feel less alone in the world.”👆 That’s how Nathan Baschez and Dan Shipper think about their startup - Every. Every is

#6 Makerpad

  • Product: Content, Community, and courses around NoCode development.
  • Business model: Premium subscription, $249/year or $600 for lifetime access.
  • Status: Profitable, acquired by Zapier.
  • Website: https://www.makerpad.co/

Read more about Makerpad:

Rising with the No-Code Movement 🏄‍♂️| Makerpad
“Code or No-Code, figure out the path of least resistance and start building”👆 That’s Ben Tossell’s advice for Indie Hackers Ben is the Founder and CEO of Makerpad. Makerpad is a content + community + course platform that teaches people how to build internet businesses without writing a single line…

#7 Riverside

  • Product: SaaS tool for Podcasters.
  • Business model: Monthly and annual subscriptions from $9/month to $29/month.
  • Status: Profitable, raised funding.
  • Website: https://riverside.fm/

Read more about Riverside:

Indie Hacker on the Unicorn Track🦄 | Riverside
Listen Up IH - Episode 28 “I want to build a billion dollar company”That’s Nadav Keyson’s audacious vision for his startup Riverside.fm Riverside is a tool to record studio-quality podcasts/interviews from anywhere with up to 4K Video & WAV Audio. It’s run by Nadav and his brother

#8 Hypefury

  • Product: Twitter tweet and thread scheduler.
  • Business model: Monthly and annual subscriptions. From $19/month to $49/month.
  • Status: Unknown. Generates revenue.
  • Website: https://hypefury.com/

Read more about Hypefury.

Flying past $23K MRR in 2 years🦅 | Hypefury
Listen Up! IH - Episode 27 “Keep your ears and eyes open, because there are opportunities everywhere.”👆 That’s Samy Dindane’s advice for aspiring Indie Hackers. Samy is the co-founder of Hypefury. Hypefury is a Twitter growth tool that lets you schedule Tweets, Threads, Retweet your best content, a…

#9 Veed

  • Product: Browser-based Video Editing.
  • Business model: Monthly and annual subscriptions from $12/month to $24/month.
  • Status: Profitable, raised funding, crossed $5M ARR
  • Website: https://www.veed.io/

Read more about Veed:

Rock Bottom To Rocket Ship🚀 | How Veed Grew To $5M+ ARR
Listen Up! IH – Episode 24 “Keep pushing, and make something people search for”That’s Sabba Keynejad’s message to Indie Hackers. Sabba is the Co-founder of Veed.io – a browser-based video editing tool. Sabba and his co-founder Tim grew the company from 0 to 50,000 users in just

#10 Sheet2Site

  • Product: Website builder on top of Google sheets.
  • Business model: Monthly and annual subscriptions from $29/month to $49/month.
  • Status: Profitable.
  • Website: https://www.sheet2site.com/

Read more about Sheet2Site and its founder Andrey Azimov's journey:

The Hardcore Year approach to $10K MRR💪 | Andrey Azimov
Listen Up! IH - Episode 25 “Just start a simple one-button app, whatever your idea is.”👆 That’s Andrey Azimov’s advice to aspiring Indie Hackers. Andrey is the the founder of Sheet2Site.com, Chart2Site.com, MacBook Alarm and ProgressBarOSX.com In 2018, Andrey was selected as Product Hunt’s Maker of…

#11 Bannerbear

  • Product: Automatic Image generation API for marketing content
  • Business model: Monthly and annual subscriptions from $49/month to $299/month.
  • Status: Profitable, recently crossed $30K MRR.
  • Website: https://www.bannerbear.com/

Read more about the founder of Bannerbear - Jon Yongfook and his journey of reaching $10K MRR:

Living The Indie Hacker Dream | Jon Yongfook
Listen Up! IH – Episode 19 “If you want to go from 0 to $10K MRR you should divide your time 50:50 between coding and marketing”That’s Jon Yongfook’s advice for Indie Hackers. Jon is the founder of Bannerbear. Bannerbear is a tool to auto-generate images and videos

Most of these startups are SaaS tools that creators can use in their day-to-day workflow. They help them make money through their creations, that's why they are an important part of the creator economy.

I think with time, we're going to have more such startups do well, make decent revenue, achieve profitability and even raise multiple rounds of funding.

There's huge potential in the creator economy.

I'll be watching this space closely and adding more startups to this list with time.

Sign up to receive breakdowns on such startups and more in depth research directly in your inbox every week:

You can also track them all by following this page:

Creator Economy - Listen Up IH
The Creator Economy describes a movement that puts power in the hands of independent creators. We will see plenty of single person million dollar businesses emerging from the creator economy. And we will see indie developers who build tools for the creator economy thrive in the long term.Building u…

Thank you for reading 🙏