South African celebrity engagement startup myFanPark has secured investment from new local VC firm Seed South as it works on a larger seed funding round to help it further expand.
Launched in 2019, myFanPark allows users to request a personalised shout-out video from their favourite celebrity, such as birthday or celebration messages. After payment, the celebrity has seven days to record the video message, which myFanPark then delivers to the fan via email and WhatsApp.
myFanPark’s 3,000-strong talent pool includes celebrities that range from Springbok rugby players and Olympians, to famous chefs, comedians, actors, musicians, NBA All Stars, Hollywood icons, and some of the most famous TikTokers on the African continent. The platform has delivered over 20,000 unique talent experiences to fans, maintained a 99.6 per cent talent retention rate, and boasts a 21 per cent customer return rate.
Disrupt Africa reported in December of last year the startup had merged with the Silicon Valley-based Starsona to form the leading global celebrity engagement platform, with a footprint across Africa, Europe, North America and the Indian subcontinent. It is now raising a seed funding to boost its expansion efforts, and as part of that banked funding from early-stage VC firm Seed South earlier in the year.
“Creators and their fans are a large part of the future of commerce, and a creator’s ability to drive commerce is exponentially growing. As we enter our seed+ fundraise and focus on our expansion plans, we are excited for the opportunity to move beyond one dimensional, transactional commerce to personality-rich, fun-to-engage and hyper-personalised distribution channels where fans can engage with those they admire through our world class technology,” said myFanPark chief executive officer (CEO) Joy Des Fountain.
Seed South Capital’s managing partner Sakhile Xulu said the VC firm invested in myFanPark’s vision.
“The rise of the creator economy has exploded but is still in its infancy. While the success of companies such as Cameo, Patreon and Kickstarter have validated the space, we are confident in myFanPark’s vision to improve the relationship and ease of monetisation between talent and fans — especially in developing markets like Africa — through one, unified platform,” he said.
“With skin in the game, we proved our abilities to source good deal-flow as well as the viability of our model. Which is: by helping entrepreneurs cross the first investment hurdle, we create access and good quality deal-flow for follow-on investors.”