Creative Fabrica, a social & digital marketplace for the global crafting community
Felix Capital leads $7m Series A to support the explosive growth of the crafting digital platform, powering its users’ creativity across over 180 countries
At Felix, we have defined ourselves, since day one, as a venture firm for the Creative Class. We believe in the transformative power of the intersection between creativity and technology, and the Creative Class are the thought leaders driving global shifts in behaviours and lifestyles. We look at every investment opportunity through the traditional lenses of market opportunity and business model strength, but also through the lens of creativity — for us, creativity is synonymous with empowerment, vision, and expression… in other words, innovation.
With creativity as the backbone of innovation, we are on a constant journey to discover the places (both physical and digital) where creative minds congregate, get inspired, and build communities.
Our approach to the Creator Economy
In the last two years, the concept of the “Creator Economy” has emerged as a regular part of the startup and VC discussion, with large social media platforms not only giving rise to new forms of creativity, as well as a new generation of entrepreneurs who have found ways to monetise their community and their engagement via these platforms. Underpinning the entire creator economy is the democratisation of access made possible by the Internet — the idea that each of us has access to the sets of tools that allow us to create products or content as well as to distribute to a community (whether it’s a few thousands of people or millions).
Hand in hand with the rise of these tools is the growing importance of self-expression. Where the term “creator” used to be reserved to those with fame or accreditations, today we have 50m people in the world who consider themselves “creators”. In this economy, social influencers, podcasts, short-form video, and newsletters dominate the discussion. At Felix, we’ve set out to find all corners where the Creative Class lives, and to discover the “hidden” pockets of the creator economy that are just as dynamic and powerful as what’s happening in the digital media space.
A hidden gem of the Creator Economy
On our journey to explore the Creator Economy, we identified a large and growing part of the market occupied by crafts and crafters. The growth of this segment has been accelerated by the at-home economy as a result of COVID-19, as well as people’s growing desire to return to analog through the act of “making” and “crafting” (a theme we’ve been watching closely during these times). In the US alone, the crafts market is estimated to be over $200 billion in size and to double by 2024.
As eCommerce impacts the crafting space, and more craft activities become digitised (with the introduction of machines such as Cricut and Silhouette), increasing craft purchases are taking place online (according to the Craft Council, in the UK, 33% of craft buyers bought craft online in 2020). Simultaneously, the average age of crafters is becoming younger (the share of craft buyers under the age of 35 has almost doubled in the last 15 years, to 30% in 2020).
Despite increasing online adoption, we observed — from our conversation with both professional and hobbyist crafters — that the consumer journey remains highly fragmented. For one to find inspiration and instructions, buy supplies, and share or sell creations, he or she must navigate through a series of single-purpose platforms. We saw the opportunity for a cross-vertical, integrated, community-driven digital destination for the crafting community.
Creative Fabrica, mastering the craft of the crafters
Creative Fabrica occupies an important space within the Creator Economy, fostering an entire multi-sided ecosystem for crafters. The platform provides a diverse crafting audience with inspiration, resources, and tooling for a spectrum of craft verticals. For designers, Creative Fabrica provides an income stream that allows them to monetise their passion.
Creative Fabrica offers a subscription-based marketplace offering digital goods, tooling, and inspiration to crafters. Focused on digital assets — fonts, graphics and embroidery designs — users can access designs through a subscription or on a single-sales basis. On the supply side, Creative Fabrica taps into a global community of 5,000 designers, with over 1.5m assets on the platform today. On top of this wide selection, the platform has built a powerful social layer. A virtuous circle where creators share designs and iterate on one another’s creation, Creative Fabrica sits at the centre of the art journey from inspiration through product creation.
The art (and craft) of the Community
Since its launch in Amsterdam in 2016, the Creative Fabrica team has built a powerful community, winning the loyalty and trust of over 1 million users, and tens of thousands of subscribers, from 180 countries. The community has grown entirely organically through word of mouth, with 90% of customers coming from organic social media channels.
Beyond this impressive scale, we became even more excited as we dug deeper into the user base and how they engage with the platform. In our discussions with designers and subscribers alike, we were astounded by the level of passion from this community. This excitement is supported by the data — subscriber retention was higher than any consumer subscription app we’ve seen. Furthermore, the site boasts social-media like engagement metrics, with the average subscriber downloading hundreds of assets per month. This type of customer behaviour not only supports excellent unit economics for the business, but gets us excited about continued ways that Creative Fabrica can build around this existing community.
A state-of-the-art team, led by passionate founders
When we met Roemie and Anca, Creative Fabrica’s co-founders, we were blown away by their ethos as founders, a rare mix of humility and boldness that’s hard to come by. In just four years and spending very little capital to date, the team has built a powerful social marketplace for the crafting community. By focusing assiduously on their end-users, building products and features just for their community of crafters, they’ve won the loyalty and trust of a global and growing user base.
Roemie and Anca are on a clear mission to turn Creative Fabrica into the leading destination globally for crafters to get inspired, get the tools they need, and share inspiration amongst the crafts community. The company’s mantra is “be creative, stay authentic”, exactly the ethos of the team itself (30-person strong today and planning to triple this year). Today we are announcing that Felix Capital is leading a $7m Series A to support the continued growth of CF. We are thrilled that Creative Fabrica has chosen to partner with us (together with our friends at Peak Capital and FJ Labs) for the next phase of this exciting journey.
Here’s to being creative, staying authentic, and the empowerment of the Creative Class!