Why We Invested in SamCart
Many of our most successful portfolio companies were born out of challenges our founders experienced firsthand. Over the years, we’ve found that these observable events – where people use technology to build a solution to a problem they’re having – have become a core component of our investment strategy. One great example is SamCart, an ecommerce platform designed to meet the unique needs of digital content creators.
In 2019, we met with Brian Moran, Scott Moran, and Justin Smith to hear more about their bootstrapped ecommerce business. Brian, a first team All-American and Gold Glove-winning baseball player at Grove City College, was looking for a way to sell his baseball training online. At the time, the only available software was for physical products and catalog sales, but that didn’t meet Brian’s needs, as he was looking to sell digital content. So Brian, Scott, and Justin teamed up to build their own solution: a way for creators to easily showcase their value proposition and checkout in a single page, enabling customers to easily purchase and receive their digital courses and products.
SamCart’s growth coincided with the meteoric rise of the creator economy. It’s only been four years since our initial investment in SamCart, but today the vertical is estimated to be worth $250 billion.
When we made our Seed investment in SamCart, we weren’t anticipating the explosive growth of the creator economy (more on that later). We were betting on two things: first, if Brian was running into this problem, so were other digital entrepreneurs; and second, we had the expertise, connections, and resources to help SamCart get into payments. Brian had the data to back up our first thesis, since he had thousands of paying customers when we met him. After the Seed round closed, our team supported SamCart as they built out their payments technology, which is a core part of their business today. We were also proud to join SamCart’s Series A and Series B rounds, the latter of which closed in April 2022.
SamCart’s growth coincided with the meteoric rise of the creator economy. It has only been four years since our initial investment, but today the vertical is estimated to be worth $250 billion. If you’ve ever bought an item that was endorsed by one of your favorite influencers, purchased a how-to guide from an expert that you found on Instagram, or signed up for virtual coaching with a TikTok star, then you, too, have participated in the creator economy. Recent research from Goldman Sachs predicts that it could reach a total addressable market of $480 billion by 2027. To put it in perspective, that’s roughly equivalent to the GDP of Portugal, which is quite impressive for a category that didn’t even have a name until recently.
Like many of our portfolio companies, SamCart has expanded its offerings to better serve their audience. Today, their core business is a subscription-based centralized platform that offers specialized tools for digital creators, like embedded checkout options, sales page design, revenue optimization, payments processing, and core commerce capabilities. SamCart currently supports more than 70,000 businesses and has processed over $3.5 billion in sales to date. The company also runs CreatorU, a subscription service that teaches strategies for becoming a digital seller. Looking ahead, SamCart has identified an opportunity to provide creators with AI that can accelerate the creation of business collateral. The company recently launched Typeset (formerly Dropdeck) to bring this vision to life.
As an investor, one of the best parts of my job is having a front row seat to the growth and maturation of our portfolio companies. I’ve been impressed by SamCart’s evolution from a single line of business to bifurcated business lines to their current operating structure, where the company is segmented to meet the different needs of each customer set. SamCart has taken us on an exciting ride, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.