Talent Hack raises $17 million led by Emergence to power the fitness creator economy

The Great Resignation, the pandemic-caused seismic shift in the way we work, play and live, and the boom of the creator and influencer economy, has led to a surge in apps designed to serve those creators. In fact, we had a very long-winded discussion about it at TechCrunch just this week.

It’s hard to know which apps are going to change the game and which are going to sink, but Emergence is betting big on a platform called Talent Hack.

The company is today announcing a $17 million Series A financing round, led by Emergence, with participation from existing investor Global Founders Capital.

The startup was founded by Alexandra Bonetti, making Talent Hack the first Latina female-led startup in the Emergence portfolio.

Before Talent Hack, fitness creators were stitching together a handful of platforms to run their business, from PayPal to Wix to email automation software, and more. Or, they were working for a studio or a big box gym without the freedom and flexibility to set their own course.

Talent Hack provides software that streamlines all of that, complete with payment processing, website design and publishing, scheduling software, email automation and CRM.

This allows fitness creators to focus on their clients and their classes, rather than dealing with running their business via software.

Talent Hack says that creators that switch over to Talent Hack increase their revenue by an average of 280%.

One differentiator between Talent Hack and some of its competitors is that it doesn’t aggregate fitness creators on behalf of the customer, but rather focuses on letting the creator build out their audience with the tools they need to be successful.

“We’re building a model that doesn’t attack the creators’ relationship with their clients,” said Bonetti. “We’re not building a marketplace or shopping talent around to other clients. We really protect them and our client philosophy is we never get in the way of the client/talent relationship. We really go out of our way to build that out.”

Talent Hack makes money by charging a processing fee for sessions booked through the platform, which is paid for by the client and not the creator. This fee ranges anywhere from 3-10%, and is algorithmically based on geography, spending patterns and attendance at their classes, among other factors.

The startup also provides educational tools and courses to creators who are looking to grow their business. The new funding will be used to expand this program, and will also be used to build out Talent Hack Co-Spaces, which will give creators the ability to train in one-on-one sessions.

“The biggest challenge we have is a very exciting market with a lot of capital, a lot of investment, both horizontally and within our vertical,” said Bonetti. “And this is a very fragmented industry and that’s the value in bringing these creators in one place. Once we’re able to really do that, there is so much to build to serve them. But like any industry that’s starting to aggregate for the first time, that’s a hard challenge.”