Patreon, which enables creators to set up subscription content services, has announced today the acquisition of Kit — a New York-based product discovery and ecommerce startup where influencers can compile collections of their favorite products and pocket affiliate earnings on any items sold.
Following the acquisition, Patreon wants to use Kit’s capabilities to help users vend their own merch. “Today, merch is unnecessarily painful for creators,” Patreon wrote in a blog post. “We’ve talked to heaps of creators who spend time stuffing envelopes, researching the lowest prices on shipping, and take endless trips to the post office. We want to make merch easy.” Patreon and Kit are “inventing a way to fulfill automated ‘merch for membership’ that will help creators stop stuffing envelopes and get back to full time creation,” the company added.
Kit is the brainchild of former YouTube and iTunes product manager Camille Hearst and Foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvadurai. To date, the company has not focused on helping creators vend their own merch but instead enables them to compile ‘kits’ — or shoppable collections of their favorite products. For instance, Casey Neistat has various kits showcasing his favorite filmmaking gear and other fun tech tools. Kit also works with other creators across various content verticals like gaming and fashion, including MKBHD, iHasCupquake, and Claire Marshall.
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“We’re elated to join Patreon and work on merch, and look forward to developing features that will give creators a simple way to deliver their products to their members,” Hearst said in a statement. Patreon confirmed that Kit capabilities will be integrated into Patreon “over time,” and it will also work to encourage Kit users to join the more than 100,000 creators that currently operate Patreon accounts.
Kit, which was founded in 2016, has raised $2.5 million in venture funding. Patreon, which celebrated its fifth birthday in May, announced last month that it has paid out a total of $350 million to creators to date.