Fanhouse Acquisition by Passes Stirs Unease Among Creators

The LA-based creator monetization platform Fanhouse was acquired by Passes, a similar startup still in its beta phase. The deal was closed within 24 hours of the initial call between the two companies, according to Lucy Guo, the founder of Passes. The terms of the deal remain undisclosed.

Fanhouse, established in 2020, had secured a $20 million Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz last year. In contrast, Passes, which launched in beta in December, raised a $9 million seed led by Multicoin Capital, a crypto-focused fund. Despite being in its beta phase, Passes is currently working with about 40 creators.

The acquisition has not been well-received by all. Rosie Nguyen, a creator known as @jasminericegirl and one of Fanhouse’s founders, announced her departure from the company just hours before the news of the deal broke. She expressed her deep concern for creators and stated that she wants to help creators in a way that aligns better with her values.

The sudden changes at Fanhouse have sparked concern among creators. Some are worried about Passes’ plans to develop technology that could optionally make AI likenesses of creators. Others are concerned about the lack of content guidelines on Passes’ website. Guo assured that Passes does have content guidelines, albeit more lax than Fanhouse’s.

Passes plans to be more lenient with the kind of content it allows due to its different methods of payment processing. However, Guo declined to share more details. She did mention that Passes has a built-in customer relationship management (CRM) system, which has helped creators better tailor their content toward their highest-paying fans.

Nguyen, however, argues that income is not the most important factor for creators when choosing to join a new platform. She believes that creators want to feel safe and cared for over anything else. She also expressed doubt about whether companies that have taken VC money can align the interests of their investors with those of their users.

Now, Fanhouse creators must decide whether to continue making content on Passes. In the coming weeks, opted-in creator and fan accounts will be transferred over to Passes, where they can use the same login credentials to access the site. To ease the transition, Passes is offering creators a 95% take rate for the first six months. After that, the percentage will decrease to 90%, the same as Fanhouse’s rate, which is still above industry standards.

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