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

How Real-Time Data Is Helping Physicians Track Their Patients, One Heartbeat at a Time

S.C. Stuart
S.C. Stuart is a foreign correspondent (ELLE China, Esquire Latin America), Contributing Writer at Ziff Davis PCMag, and consults as a futurist for Hollywood Studios. Previously, S.C. was the head of digital at Hearst Magazines International while serving as a Non-Executive Director, UK Trade & Investment (US) and Digital Advisor at The Smithsonian.
How Real-Time Data Is Helping Physicians Track Their Patients, One Heartbeat at a Time

Are you a human node on a health-based digital network?

According to research from Insider Intelligence, the U.S. smart wearable user market is poised to grow 25.5% in 2023. Which is to say, there are an increasing number of Angelenos walking around this city whose vital signs can be tracked day and night via their doctor's digital device. If you've signed up to a health-based portal via a workplace insurance scheme, or through a primary care provider's portal which utilizes Google Fit, you’re one of them.

Do you know your baseline health status and resting heartbeat? Can you track your pulse, and take your own blood pressure? Have you received genetic counseling based on the sequencing of your genome? Do you avoid dairy because it bloats, or because you know you possess the variant that indicates lactose intolerance?

Read moreShow less

Who Will Win LA's E-scooter Wars?

Maylin Tu
Maylin Tu is a freelance writer who lives in L.A. She writes about scooters, bikes and micro-mobility. Find her hovering by the cheese at your next local tech mixer.
Who Will Win LA's E-scooter Wars?
Evan Xie

Los Angeles — it’s not just beautiful weather, traffic and the Hollywood Walk of Fame — it’s also the largest shared micromobility market in the U.S. with six operators permitted to deploy up to 6,000 vehicles each.

And despite the open market policy, the competition shows no signs of slowing down.

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