A former YouTube executive who spent years working with the online creator community has raised a $50 million operating fund to invest in emerging talent and help them develop businesses around their creations.
Founder and CEO Benjamin Grubbs said the inspiration for Next 10 Ventures grew out of his experiences as YouTube’s global director of top creator partnerships. He would work with YouTubers, discussing their business plans and helping them project their growth out over the next decade.
Grubbs was able to support those whose future ambitions were tied to video, but found himself making introductions to others in the tech community if a creator’s next steps took them beyond YouTube. At a friend’s urging, he began to explore doing this work full-time, supporting the 50,000 creators who are at the center of a $23 billion digital economy.
“Here I am today, this is what I want to do next,” Grubbs said. “I’ll work with them and help shape a business plan or product plan.”
Before joining YouTube, Grubbs held leadership roles at Google, Turner Broadcasting, eBay and Yahoo! He talked about one project that illustrates the sort of lasting brand franchises he hopes to create at Next 10 ventures.
While overseeing Turner’s digital media group in the Asia Pacific region, Grubbs backed a Beijing college student whose rabbit-like character, Tuzki, was growing in popularity online. Momo Wang’s creation has emerged as a fully formed product with its own consumer products and apparel lines and a possible movie deal on the horizon.
Grubs is joined by Paul Condolora as the company’s chief operating officer. Condolora led digital and consumer products at Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, and was the co-head of the Harry Potter franchise at Warner Bros. prior to joining Next 10 Ventures.
Next 10 Ventures will pursue partnerships and opportunities in video content and IP creation, eCommerce, and community-based products and services. Each venture’s investment size will match seed capital to early-round levels, and will vary based on the business opportunity.
The company was incorporated in March 2018, with offices in Los Angeles and Singapore.