A Venture Fund for the Influencer Economy: UTA.VC Plans to Invest Big In Web3

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

A Venture Fund for the Influencer Economy: UTA.VC Plans to Invest Big In Web3
Image courtesy of UTA

United Talent Agency is linking with former stakeholder Investcorp to create a strategic partnership that will invest in startups focused on culture and technology, including Web3 and the creator economy.


The new venture is called UTA.VC. Investcorp is a previous investor in the Beverly Hills-based agency; it first backed UTA in 2018 but sold its stake in July to Swedish private equity firm EQT Partners for a reported $800 million.

Now, UTA and Investcorp are looking to invest in startups that are synergistic with areas UTA has long been interested in, whether as an investor or agency – including entertainment, creator-focused startups, consumer products and, more recently, Web3 and NFTs.

UTA.VC will be led by UTA general partners Caroline Jacobs, Clinton Foy and Sam Wick. Anand Radhakrishnan, managing director of Investcorp’s United States private equity division, will serve as a partner.

In a press release Wednesday, UTA.VC said it is targeting companies working in the creator economy, Web3 and the future of entertainment. Vague, yes, but UTA said it defines this as “technologies driving the production, distribution and consumption of content.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. UTA wouldn't disclose the size of the strategic partnership’s fund, though the UTA.VC website notes several recent investments, including blockchain company Consensys (where Jacobs is a board observer), influencer marketing tool Bounty and NFT marketplace Percs.

The agency has been investing in startups since at least 2014, under the banner of UTA Ventures. Notable local investments UTA Ventures has made over the years include Pluto TV, NTWRK and Cloud9 Esports. UTA Ventures also backed firms that went from tech upstarts to household names, including Patreon, Lyft, MasterClass and Cameo.

Venture funding database PitchBook notes UTA Ventures investments date back as far as 2012. Its biggest hits include Santa Monica-based YouTube channel AwesomenessTV, which sold to DreamWorks Animation in May 2013 for $33 million.

“UTA.VC is the next evolution of UTA’s venture platform,” Foy and Wick said in a statement Wednesday. “The strategic partnership builds on our successful previous investments in companies… and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to invest and partner with the next generation of companies in this space.”

Other competitors to UTA such as the Creative Artists Agency and Endeavor are prolific investors in tech. Within the last two years, CAA Ventures has seen sales of portfolio companies including Genies, Thatgamecompany and Hinge. Endeavor’s been on the buy side of a number of deals so far this year, as well. Solidifying its venture capital thesis and shoring up a firm that is dedicated specifically to identifying potential moonshots in the startup community is a key way for UTA to prove it’s a competitor.

https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

10 TikTok Gadgets That Went Viral In 2022

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

10 TikTok Gadgets That Went Viral In 2022

Part of TikTok’s evolution over the years includes becoming another outlet for consumers to purchase popular gadgets. The app generated $821 million in global consumer spending across the App Store and Google Play in the first quarter of 2022 alone.

And since the holiday season is among us, it’s time to get some gifts checked off your list. So here’s 10 tech gadgets that went viral on TikTok that you can buy for your loved ones.

Read moreShow less

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Disney Taps Bob Iger for CEO, Former Meta Exec Joins DeSo

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Disney Taps Bob Iger for CEO, Former Meta Exec Joins DeSo
LA Tech ‘Moves’:

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

Read moreShow less

This Week in ‘Raises’: Swell Energy Lands $120M, Modyfi Draws in $8M

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in ‘Raises’: Swell Energy Lands $120M, Modyfi Draws in $8M
This Week in ‘Raises’:

As funding in Los Angeles continues to slow down, Swell Energy still managed to raise fresh funding to accelerate the company's mission to deploy 26,000 energy storage systems in homes and businesses across the United States.

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending