Insuring the Creator Economy: How Notch is a Creator’s Best Friend
By Osh Kaplan and Veronica Gabriele
At its inception, social media was simply a fun and novel way to connect with friends digitally. But what began as a casual hobby is now big business. In addition to the millions of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that rely on social media for marketing distribution, there are also approximately 50–100M creators globally that monetize their content.
These individuals are part of the creator economy, a label that is inclusive of influencers, gamers, bloggers, community builders, and much more. The creator economy market references everything from the individual creators themselves to the infrastructure providers that are in place to support and bolster the industry.
Over the last few years, the industry evolved from media platforms (Twitch, Snapchat, Instagram) to a full-fledged market that allows creators to build a robust business from their content across multiple channels. A content creator can use over ten different platforms to monetize, manage, and reach their community — through fan engagement tools like Cameo, influencer agencies and marketplaces like The Plug, and project management tools like Moe Assist.
What was missing previously, but now starting to emerge, are financial management tools and services built specifically for the creator economy. Tackling this challenge are companies like Karat, which provides financing and rewards, Creative Juice, which helps creators get banked, and Notch, our first investment in the sector, which provides digital asset insurance for social media accounts.
Creators are professionalizing their operations by taking more ownership of their digital assets and follower experiences, as well as by monetizing their content directly, rather than solely relying on marketplaces or other agency platforms.
Time to Insure Those Digital Assets
As more influencers pursue creator careers and more small businesses rely on social media for effective marketing, the livelihoods of millions become exposed to hacks - and financial management tools become essential to protect a successful creator income stream. Every ten minutes, another Instagram creator account gets hacked in the US alone, and social media scams have grown in scale by 18x compared to 2017.
Here’s how it works: users receive a deceptive message from a bad actor with a clear call to action. Once the link is clicked, the creators or business owners are locked out of their account. Unless they are able to recover access, they lose the audience and brand equity carefully built up over years of steady engagement. And even if they do eventually recover access, the loss of income cannot be recovered for the period they are locked out.
Not all influencers and marketers are created equal, however. Social media companies reserve different types of treatment for various tiers of accounts, often revolving around the size of their following. While Kim Kardashian might have dedicated account representatives providing white glove service from the social media giants, the same can’t be said for most influencers. Micro and midi influencers (between 5–50k followers), in particular, are left vulnerable to hacks and without true recourse from social media companies.
Digital SMBs and creators are underserved, under protected, and have had no low-cost, zero touch insurance options or risk management services readily available to this point. For up-and-coming creators or small business owners whose income would be at stake if their Instagram/Facebook/TikTok account went down for weeks, Notch is a way to secure an income stream regardless of the hacking risks.
“Notching” Our Way to a More Protected Creator Economy
Notch is a digital insurance and asset protection solution for micro and small businesses to protect and insure social media accounts, eCommerce stores, in-app purchases, digital art, and more.
Their product has three main modules: 1) incident prevention with 24/7 monitoring and alerts to minimize the chance of downtime, 2) crisis management powered by a team of experts to help retrieve compromised digital assets to minimize the length and impact of downtime, and 3) social media insurance coverage with self-service business interruption insurance to make creators whole after a breach.
The company is seeking to create a seamless underwriting process with automatic recommended policy generation. Partnering with HSB, a Munich Re Company and a market-leading insurer in the personal and small business cyber insurance space, Notch is developing a simple and seamless business continuity offering that gives creators and their sponsoring partner brands peace of mind that their assets and income are protected.
We are excited about our first creator economy investment. While Notch is initially focusing on insuring social media accounts, its vision is to ultimately expand its offerings to other digital assets. In so doing, it will become one of the first platforms to provide digital identity insurance.
Above all we are delighted to be working with Notch’s three co-founders, Rafael, Elool, and Yuval. The team’s strong product and data backgrounds, coupled with their long history together, position them to successfully work cohesively and build a strong team. We are proud to be one of the early supporters of the company, and we can’t wait to see their vision come to life.
Munich Re Ventures (MRV) is the venture capital arm of Munich Re Group, one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, primary insurance, and insurance-related risk solutions. With more than $1 billion in assets under management, Munich Re Ventures invests in the most innovative start-ups transforming the future of risk and risk transfer. MRV’s experienced investors are financially-driven while focused on the strategic interests of Munich Re and the broader insurance industry. MRV works closely with Munich Re Group businesses across the globe to fund and partner with the best emerging companies developing new technologies and business models — and risks — for tomorrow’s world.