Fave, the app for superfans to connect with like-minded music lovers and obsess over their favorite artists, secured $2 million in an ongoing round, the company exclusively told TechCrunch. Notably, the round is expected to surpass $6 million and is backed by returning investors such as the Female Founders Fund and major industry players Warner Music and Sony Music.
Fave previously raised $2.2 million, which TechCrunch covered in 2021. The company’s current valuation is $15 million.
From Harry Styles’ Harries and Taylor Swifts’ Swifties to Beyoncé’s Bey Hive and the BTS ARMY, more than 50,000 devoted fans have joined Fave to congregate and share their dedication, whether that be sharing concert clips, posting fan-made art or writing about their craziest fan stories.
Additionally, the app has a “Fan Verification” feature where fans are ranked according to their status — Fan, Verified Fan and Verified Superfan. Users earn points based on streaming activity, concert/event attendance, proof they met their favorite artist, as well as more extreme acts of fanship like getting a tattoo. This also allows fans to document these special moments as forms of badges.
Fans compete against each other, and as they rise in rankings, unlock various perks and experiences provided by artists and brand partners, including concert tickets, exclusive events, early access and more.
Fans can even earn revenue on the app. Fave’s marketplace enables users to resell concert tickets and promote their Etsy shops featuring handcrafted merch. The company takes a 2.4% transaction fee, however, it has previously experimented with 5%, 10% and 0%.
“[Fave] will continue to experiment to land on the right mix of margin for the business operations at increasing scale and creating a motivating set-up for fans to earn a proper living from their incredible work and creativity found in the marketplace,” Fave founder and CEO Jacquelle Amankonah Horton told TechCrunch, who has former experience working at Google and YouTube.
In addition to Fave taking a cut, artists have the option to earn 10% from the fans’ sales.
“This is very distinct from other platforms, but something we are proud to stand by to allow artists to finally benefit from fan-made content monetarily in a win-win,” Horton told us. “Artists can lean back in favor of elevating their fans’ voices, empowering fans’ creations and interactions to be front and center. The artist can simply collect the monetization from their fans’ activity or lean in and inspire more activity if desired. Everything orients around the fans and what they’re doing, versus yet another platform where the artist is the one posting all the content for fans to consume.”
Horton added that while some artists are grateful for the percentage, other artists give their earnings to charities or “back to the fandom itself,” she explained. “We’re exploring all of these models based on artists’ preferences.”
Not only is Fave a platform for fans to connect with each other, but it’s also a resource for artists and their teams to get detailed data about their fandom — including names, level of activity and how the fans show their loyalty. Fave leverages generative AI tools and predictive fan intelligence, its in-house technology that offers specific suggestions on how to improve the artist’s strategy based on insights. The company also allows artist teams to contact fans directly.
“I can’t tell you how painful it’s been to see artist teams trying to reach their superfans for super cool campaigns and just cannot find them, cannot message them, or get limited by algorithms that are only sharing their message to a small percentage of their followers at best,” Horton said.
Fave is gearing up to officially launch its suite of tools to allow more artist teams to find and reach superfans. The company has already onboarded major entertainment companies and will eventually broaden the release to all artists. Fave declined to share who the early onboards are, but told us that its partners “cover more than one-third of the entire music market,” shared Horton.
The company will use capital from its current funding round to “deepen the power of these tools” as well as work on launching additional tools.
The funding will also help Fave expand beyond music fandoms. This year, Fave will tap into other entertainment markets like movie/TV stars and content creators. The company also plans to eventually explore sports teams as well as partner with fashion brands.
The new investors that joined Fave’s newest round include music industry veteran Lyor Cohen, Shiva Rajaraman (former VP at Spotify and CBO of OpenSea), Alexandra Moore (former GM at Amazon and CBO at EMPIRE) and more. Xoogler.co, Goodwater and Gaingels also joined.
Fave is still in beta, yet is planning an official launch at the end of 2023.