Today, creators have a bigger audience to sell their creations to than ever before, thanks to tools like Instagram and Etsy. However, few of them have the resources to scale the way they want or to expand their product lines. This lack of infrastructure and back-end support can severely restrict their ability to run their operations. That is where solutions like Pietra come in.
Giving power to creators with Pietra
Founded by Uber alumni Ronak Trivedi, New York-based Pietra (Italian for “stone”) was originally a marketplace for luxury jewelry sellers. Two years have passed since then, and it’s now operating as a platform that helps creators and influencers launch and grow their product lines and scale the sales of their physical goods. The platform connects creators and influencers with suppliers, warehouses, and other facilitators that can help them produce, distribute, and sell their goods. No minimum follower count is required.
Pietra is a new platform that makes it extremely easy to launch brands. I spoke with co-founder @therealRoShow about the marketplace, which is back by Founders Fund’s @rabois and a16z’s @andrewchen. This is Product Populism.
— Joe Niehaus (@joeniehaus10) September 17, 2021
Pietra creator’s mission is to help launch one million women-owned brands in the next five years. Currently, 80% of their users are women. Notable ones include influencers Ella Rose with her skincare line and content creator Kira West offering her wellness-inspired jewelry. They and 20 thousand other entrepreneurs can focus on their product development without worrying about operations like warehousing, procurement, etc. – things that big businesses use a bulk of their resources on. Those are, in a way, automated with Pietra.
While the idea behind Pietra isn’t a unique one, its goal to support creators and influencers with design, manufacturing, and shipping their unique brand does potentially promise a high level of accessibility that would raise the creators’ ability to compete with big brands. Pietra connects them with different suppliers that undergo the vetting process by the platform and handles assembling, storage, shipping, and returns if needed. It also offers an e-commerce marketplace where creators can sell their stuff.
What about facts and figures?
In terms of pricing, influencers cover the production costs by their suppliers of choice plus a 10% fee to Pietra on each purchased sample. Suppliers join for free and bill influencers directly. It costs $1 per unit to assemble and store the goods, and a $1 fulfillment fee is paid upon each order. If influencers want to use the marketplace, they have to pay $1 plus a 5% fee to Pietra on each purchase.
The team at Pietra has been working hard to streamline, focus, and build the best Creator ecosystem for starting your own product line or brand. Here's a little overview: pic.twitter.com/JGfV4RDgs6
— Ronak Trivedi (@therealRoShow) August 16, 2021
This may seem costly, especially for SMEs. However, creators get access to marketing tools such as Instagram shopping, pre-sales website with own links, email list builders, and others. Pietra appears to be an investment that would primarily help save time and hassle on business operations. Therefore, the target audience is primarily people who want to monetize their product or content, rather than people who’re hoping to build a large-scale business operation – but Pietra isn’t pretending to market to them.
New funding and partnership
This summer, Pietra raised $15m Series A from Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, TQ Ventures, and Abstract Ventures. The company intends to use the funds to grow its in-house teams and expand its offerings, such as providing content creators an opportunity to create a digital-first brand. They also formed a partnership with United Talent Agency (UTA) this August, and together, they launched a $500k fund to help the agency’s talent launch their brands.
YouTube: Overview – How It Works (Pietra)