Mark Cuban’s interactive platform Fireside, which helps creators reach audiences through live and virtual shows, is in talks to raise its Series A financing round and plans to make a push into web3 and metaverse, two sources familiar with the matter said.
Fireside is engaging with investors to raise about $25 million at a valuation of $125 million, the sources said, requesting anonymity, as the deliberations are ongoing and private.
The platform has been able to attract a number of high-profile creators, including Jay Leno, Michael Dell and screenwriter and Entourage creator Doug Ellin.
The app offers creators the ability to distribute their shows everywhere (outside of the app) with the click of a button and supplies them with what it calls “sophisticated analytics” to help them understand the kind of content that is resonating well with the audiences in real time.
The startup — founded by Cuban and Falon Fatemi, a Google alum who also co-founded customer intelligence platform Node — plans to launch NFTs and have a metaverse play this year to help creators monetize their work, the sources said. It’s also exploring undertaking a community DAO, they said.
It’s also in early discussions with a number of firms, including Netflix, to explore strategic partnerships, one of the sources said.
Fireside declined to comment.
The startup, which counts Cuban, the Chainsmokers, HBSE, Goodwater, Animal Capital and NFL stars Larry Fitzgerald and Kelvin Beachum and former NBA star Baron Davis among its backers, has raised about $8 million to date, a person familiar with the matter said.
In November, TechCrunch reported about Fireside’s efforts to raise a “seed+” financing round.
“For the first time, whether it’s Web2, Web3 or VR, we have a tactile platform that allows content creators to hear and see how their audience is responding to live content. It’s as close to being in real life as you can get,” Cuban told TechCrunch at the time.
A number of startups, including Andreessen Horowitz-backed Clubhouse and entrepreneur and investor David Sacks’ Callin, are betting that the next wave of social networks would allow creators to directly engage with their fans and change the economic models for how and what they earn.