Roughly one year after acquiring Kit — an ecommerce startup that enables influencers to compile collections of their favorite products and pocket affiliate earnings on any items sold — Patreon is selling the startup’s assets.
Kit has been purchased by Geniuslink, a service that creates shortened, local, trackable, affiliate links for content creators. The purchase price was not disclosed.
Patreon was willing to part with Kit after just one year, as it initially saw the purchase as an acqui-hire to develop its Patreon Merch offering — an automated service that helps creators ship and track merch, as well as provide support logistics. Patreon Merch is currently live. Accordingly, all of the Kit employees who joined Patreon in the wake of the acquisition — including co-founder Camille Hearst — will remain with Patreon, though the Kit product will now fall under Geniuslink’s dominion.
“While thinking about the next phase in Kit’s lifecycle, it’s important to us that Patreon always puts creators first,” Patreon wrote in a blog post announcing the sale, noting that Geniuslink will be able to put more resources into the product given that Patreon’s core business focuses on building membership experiences — a somewhat separate endeavor. “We were introduced to Geniuslink though the team at Kit; they have integrated with the Kit product for years, and are also staunchly committed to doing right by creators.”
Geniuslink, which was founded in 2009 and is based in Seattle — and which has never raised any venture funding — said that Kit has been leveraging part of its link technology since its founding, and today creators share thousands of products on Kit every day. In addition to maintaining the Kit site, Geniuslink will run user support, add more features and capabilities, and improve its infrastructure to derive more revenues for users.
“I first met Camille in 2009 when she helped get me ramped up with the iTunes marketing team and it was exciting to connect with her again in 2015 when she first started building Kit,” Geniuslink co-founder Jesse Lakes wrote in a company blog post. “By combining Kit’s scale and beautiful user interface with our best-in-class link monetization technology, we believe that we can make a huge impact in helping creators earn the living they deserve.”