UK-based software startup, Contact, a platform that empowers creative talent, including models and photographers, to take control over their careers, while simplifying the process for brands to source, book, and communicate with talent, has raised a £3 million Seed round.
The round was led by Rhino Ventures, a Vancouver-based venture capital firm, with participation from advisor and actress Maisie Williams (best known for her work on Game of Thrones), Founders Fund, Riverside Ventures and prominent creator-economy angel investors, including Steven Galanis and Martin Blencowe, co-founders of Cameo, and Sasha Kaletsky (Creator Ventures). New investors join an existing range of prominent investors, including Simon Beckerman, Founder of Depop, Eric Wahlforss (co-founder of SoundCloud and now Dance), Jason Calacanis, Abe Burns, Sweet Capital (the King.com founders’ fund) and Alice Lloyd George of Rogue VC.
Contact’s platform helps break down the barriers to accessing opportunities faced by a diverse array of creative talent that is not typically served by the largest brands and agencies, while streamlining booking, communication and payments processes. With this new round of funding, Contact will accelerate the development of enhanced product features that more seamlessly embed it in both brands’ and talent’s workflows, as well as extend the platform to more creative verticals.
Founded in 2020 by Reuben Selby, Gen-Z founder age 25, Contact enables organisations to book creative talent while eliminating the friction of interfacing with agents and managers, convoluted email traffic, and cumbersome invoicing practices. Creatives are able to manage and grow their careers with Contact’s suite of booking, scheduling, payments, and communications tools. As a former creative himself, Reuben was motivated to found Contact by a passion he shares with Maisie for improving the lives and careers of creative talent.
Reuben Selby, Contact Founder & CEO comments: “Partnering with Rhino Ventures marks a significant step toward our vision of empowering creatives to drive their own distribution and monetisation. With this funding, we will be able to accelerate the development of product features and tools that continue to expand the opportunity set, both economically and creatively, for creative talent everywhere.”
Contact represents Rhino Ventures’ third investment out of its $120 million Fund 3. It marks the first investment outside of North America as part of its global entrepreneur enablement thesis – investing in those platforms and applications that break down the financial and technical barriers to entrepreneurs building and scaling businesses. This continues Rhino’s belief that platforms best serving entrepreneurs will require a vertical focus.
David Hogarth, Rhino Ventures Partner comments: “Contact’s solution empowers creatives and brands to find success in an industry that largely neglected them. By providing a scalable platform for creative talent to manage and grow their businesses, creatives worldwide can focus on what they do best. Our investment is underpinned by conviction in a strong founder with a winning product and our continued belief in the entrepreneur enablement category. In an industry long overdue for disruption, Reuben and the team at Contact seem like they were born to deliver it.”
Advisor to the company and existing investor Pippa Lamb, a London-based angel investor and Partner at Sweet Capital (the King.com founders’ fund) added: “In early stage investing, we look for founders who are passionate about solving big, complex problems that they have experienced themselves. Reuben spent years looking for a technology solution to the antiquated talent booking space and couldn’t find one. Now, he is building it himself.”
The potential unlocking of opportunities enabled by Contact allows for a massive improvement in the service offered to creative talent everywhere while substantially enhancing the ability for the long tail of brands to participate in the fashion industry in a scalable way. In an industry where workflows remain archaic, talent is poorly treated and often deprived of timely payment, and gatekeepers dominate, technology will increasingly level the playing field.
Contact plan to be the catalyst for an explosion of art, creativity and self-expression. Book the world’s most diverse creative talent in seconds. Join Contact today.
Contact have publicly shared their long-term vision to flip the script, reshaping a world where creativity is put first. Check out the video here: