New York-based startup Trips is looking to empower content creators by enabling them to better monetize and protect their intellectual property. The company, which launched in late 2023, uses blockchain technology to help creators establish initial digital provenance for their copyrighted material. It also aims to provide creators access to new liquidity opportunities backed by their creations.
“Creators lack access to capital to monetize their assets, grow their businesses and reach financial stability,” said Michael Finkelstein, CEO and founder of Trips, in an interview. “Trips presents a novel pathway for content creators to harness their copyrights into a tangible financial resource.”
The platform allows creators to authenticate themselves, link content platforms like YouTube, and register their copyright ownership on a blockchain, referred to by the company as a Tokenized Copyright Interest (TCI). Creators can then enable various monetization features entirely under their control through Trips interface.
“Our commitment lies in empowering creators to effectively navigate the digital world by building great products that promote their success and ensure the preservation of their creative ownership,” Finkelstein said.
Trips Raises $2.5M To Give Creators New OpportunitiesFrom Their IP
Trips is targeting the fast-growing creator economy, which CEO Michael Finkelstein estimates already encompasses some 200 million people globally. He expects that number to reach 1 billion by 2028 based on projections.
The startup aims to empower this new class of entrepreneurs by providing tools to better monetize and protect their content while also accessing new forms of financing.
“Whether you’re a musician or whether you’re a long form creator posting on YouTube or whether you’re a short form creator posting on TikTok, I think all of those folks are looking at themselves and saying, how do I make this a full time job?” said Finkelstein.
Trips is starting with a focus on long-form video creators on platforms like YouTube. But Finkelstein envisions the startup eventually expanding into other verticals like music, photography and beyond.
“Focusing on one type of content creation creator within a broader scope allows us to, we think, deliver a great product for them and then in the future, move forward and deliver additional products,” he said.
Trips aims to differentiate in the market by keeping creators’ interests front and center.
“Everything we do, everything we want, and everything we build is really around helping creators achieve those goals,” said Finkelstein. That involves not just enabling monetization, but also boosting protections.
By registering copyright claims on the blockchain, Trips wants to help inoculate creators against unauthorized usage or derivative works. And by improving access to capital based on the underlying assets, the goal is to provide new funding streams to spur small business growth.
“What sets Trip apart is really a couple of things,” said Finkelstein, pointing toward this advocacy angle tied to both empowering creators financially while safeguarding their intellectual property in digital spaces.
Trips raised $2.5 million in pre-seed funding led by VC firms Shima Capital, Animal Capital and Blackwood Ventures. Blizzard, the Avalanche Ecosystem Fund, which invests in startups building on the Avalanche blockchain, also participated. Trips is deploying on Avalanche’s Evergreen platform.
“Now is the time to empower every creator to take control of their intellectual property through a transformative approach that acknowledges their rights, while simultaneously expanding their financial possibilities,” said Animal Capital’s Marshall Sandman. “Trips represents the crucial innovation needed at this intersection of technology, creativity and finance.”
According to Finkelstein, the idea for Trips was born from the notion that every creator should have a path toward financial freedom and independence. By allowing creators to better safeguard their works via blockchain technology, while also transforming their copyrights into “financial assets that work for them,” the goal is to provide new monetization on-ramps and opportunities.
Finkelstein has past experience at the intersection of copyrights, fintech and data. He helped build and eventually sell a music copyright and dance label business to BMG Rights. He also founded The Credit Junction, which leveraged data to provide small business loans.
The launch of Trips’ creator monetization platform is just the initial building block according to CEO Michael Finkelstein. “Integrating with more platforms is absolutely going to happen,” he said, noting ongoing evaluations to determine which sites or apps come next.
But Finkelstein also envisions expanding the financial services and products offered over time beyond the startup’s initial funding opportunities. “I think the expansion of financial opportunities for the creators…creates a suite of opportunities,” he said.
By ultimately providing a wider array of monetization options tied directly to creators’ copyright assets, as well as a broader suite of financial tools tailored to independents’ needs, the goal is further empower entrepreneurial success.
“It creates a suite of opportunities for wherever you create on the one side,” said Finkelstein, “and then creates really [the opportunity to provide] services and financial services from the other side.” That fuller vision may unfold gradually, but Trips hopes its blockchain-powered platform is just the start.
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Courtesy : https://www.netinfluencer.com/trips/