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GenZ Founders Sell Creator Subscription Platform Fanfix for $65 Million

Harry Gestetner, 22, is the co-founder of Fanfix. Headlines are basically calling the platform ‘a nudity-free version of OnlyFans.’

More or less, it’s a subscription service that allows creators to charge fans and supporters a subscription fee for a variety of content. This can include access to vlogs and unpublished TikToks.

Let’s take a look at how this platform works and why it is already seeing such success.

The Problem With OnlyFans

In general, OnlyFans is associated with pornography. However, according to Gestetner, this is a big problem for most of the sites creators.

They are not actually creating pornographic content, but want to take advatange of the subscription model that the site offers.

According to Yahoo Finance:

Gestetner believes most famous creators on OnlyFans are “not actually doing any nudity for the most part — but they’re associated with the extreme pornography that’s going on” meaning they “lose out on brand deals.”

While Patreon is another avenue that creators can use to earn off subscription fees, it does also allow nudity in some contexts, which may be problematic for some creators.

Fanfix is the solution, a subscription platform creators can monetize that does not allow nudity at all.

More About Fanfix

The company was bought by SuperOrdinary, a brand accelerator that empowers companies to market themselves through influencer partnerships. Reportedly, it sold for $65 million.

The fact of the matter is that many companies that do social media brand marketing simply do not want to be associated with Only Fans creators. It does not matter if they themselves do not create explicit content.

Fanfix can be a great solution for Gen-Z creators who want a way to make another stream of income off fans. However, they do not want to be associated with explicit content at all.

In order to join Fanfix, creators need at least 10,000 followers across all of their social media profiles. According to Fanfix, as of April 2023, it has 10 million users. It is also expected to pay out $50 million to its 3,000 creators by the end of 2023.

According to TechCrunch data, the average creator on Fanfix is also seeing success. They earn about $70,000 a year.

What FanFix Does Differently

It’s no secret that the creator economy is rough. Many platforms do not treat the creators that have helped make them relevant and successful well.

For example, TikTok basically does not pay most creators at all. Instagram is heavily suspected of making organic growth almost impossible to try and force digital marketers to pay for ads. Twitch even recently cut the share of revenue they give to many streamers.

This environment is what has led many creators to start using subscription-model-based platforms like Patreon and OnlyFans. However, these sites have their issues, which is what left the door open for someone to innovate in the space.

Gestetner doesn’t hold back on criticizing competitors, calling Patreon an “outdated, bulky desktop-first platform catered to our parents’ generation” and OnlyFans a “porn site” with a “massive stigma surrounding it.”

Many would agree with him, especially when it comes to OnlyFans.

Exactly How Clean Is Fanfix?

In order to distinguish itself from OnlyFans and promote a brand-friendly image, what lines in the sand has Fanfix drawn?

Here is a look at the platform’s content guidelines:

We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on FanFix. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos in the context of breastfeeding, birth giving and after-birth moments, health-related situations (for example, post-mastectomy, breast cancer awareness or gender confirmation surgery) or an act of protest are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.

This is a very interesting approach to censorship, as it tries to take context into consideration. It is also very transparent. Transparency and context are things that most other platforms have notoriously failed at when it comes to moderation.

For example, moderation has been one of Twitter’s biggest issues since its inception and has come even more into the forefront since Elon Musk bought the company.

Another example, YouTube recently unleashed on creators nebulous guidelines about how often or how soon they can use foul language in videos.

Nobody really knows what the boundaries are or what they can say without being demonetized. This has been a longstanding issue with YouTube. Creators sometimes don’t even know why their videos get taken down.

There is also a unique sense of irony about being partially blocked on a Facebook platform for suspected platform abuse while spam fills your DMs.

However, while Fanfix may have a more refreshing and human approach, all of this does not mean that FanFix is an entirely clean platform. It has been reported that you can find photos of nearly naked women, pictures of feet, and even videos of creators spitting on there.

According to Gestetner:

“We allow what’s the societal norm, and we don’t venture into any of the more explicit areas. The most lewd stuff on our platform will be similar to the most lewd stuff on TikTok or Instagram.”

A Gen-Z First Platform

Currently, Fanfix has about 50 staff members. Almost all of them are in their early 20s. This is a huge departure from most of the companies in this space.

While many creators are Gen-Z or younger millennials, the platforms that profit from their work in many ways are helmed by older people. According to Gestetner:

“We’re not sitting in a room with a whiteboard, theorizing what Gen Z might want, as a team of middle-aged men. We talk about what we want, and then we build that.”

Interestingly, Fanfix is also designed to mimic the proportions of a phone screen, even though it does not have an app.

According to Gestetner, by not including the app in app stores, which take a huge cut of sales, they can offer the same creator payout as OnlyFans: 80%.

More about the Founders

Founders Cameron Dallas, Harry Gestetner, and Simon Pompan via Yahoo Finance

Harry Gestetner was born into a family of wealthy English entrepreneurs. His great-great-grandfather, David Gestetner, invented an early photocopying machine in 1879.

The Guardian reports that Ricoh bought the business in 1996 for $226 million. In addition, Harry’s father Daniel was reportedly one of the UK’s richest entrepreneurs in 2000.

Harry Gestetner met co-founder Simon Pompan while attending high school in Los Angeles. They went on to study business in college.

The pair was inspired to create Fanfix when one of Gestetner’s cousins made absolutely nothing off of a viral TikTok they posted, which got millions of views. According to Gestetner:

“The creator economy itself shouldn’t have existed in the first place, because Instagram, Facebook, and then eventually, TikTok, should have taken care of monetization, as well as discovery. They failed at that. And they took advantage of the creators, and so a massive gap opened up for platforms like Patreon, platforms like us.”

While working from their college dorm rooms, they raised over a million in VC to start Fanfix. This capital came from the firms Antler, Rough Draft Ventures, and Day One Ventures. Former Vine Star Cameron Dallas also joined as a co-founder.

Final Thoughts on Fanfix

It is likely that platforms that seem to take better care of content creators are an inevitability. It’s no secret that the current platforms either carry heavy stigmas or really do not respect their creators and users at all.

As the creator economy is booming and growing, even in uncertain economic times, it frankly doesn’t make sense that platforms do not value their creators more.

After all, Vine had no way to monetize content. As a result, all of its creators left, leading to its death.

If you have ever tried to get an issue solved on Instagram, which offers no user support whatsoever, you know why many people who are looking to build digital businesses would rather go elsewhere.

Fanfix and likely the other platforms which will emerge may make the work of content creation more stable. It could also make it an overall better deal for those who are looking to join this industry.

The fact that Fanfix was created by Gen-Z for Gen-Z may give this platform a specific appeal to other people of that generation that all other current popular platforms lack, as well.

Do you think that OnlyFans truly carries such an intense stigma that this is necessary?

What do you think of Fanfix? Comment below.

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