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Jersey-based YouTuber innovation goes global with local investment

Posted: Monday 15 February 2021

A groundbreaking video membership platform which helps YouTubers and other online content creators monetise their work has received a major financial boost thanks to investment from a Jersey-based venture capital firm.

Faction Digital has completed its investment in local start-up Flaze which will help fund its ambitious global growth plans.

Flaze was founded in Jersey by Benedict Lewis and Callum Cunningham.

It enables content creators who use a range of platforms, including YouTube, to charge fans for subscription access to exclusive videos, whilst maintaining complete creative control over the work they produce.

Flaze allows users to build a bespoke subscription package of their favourite influencers, giving them an ad-free experience. It’s a business model which is gathering significant early traction.

Faction Digital is a venture firm set up in Jersey in 2020 by some of the founders of local e-commerce businesses, including Play.com, Feelunique and MyMemory, to launch and help accelerate e-commerce businesses in Jersey and across the UK.

Callum Cunningham, co-founder of Flaze, said: “Our vision with Flaze is to empower both users and content creators alike to take back control. Users are tired of having unwanted ads interrupting their use of platforms, and content creators have many barriers to overcome in terms of advertising restrictions and demonetization. Having Faction Digital on board is amazing for Flaze, alongside the value that the investment brings to helping us build the company, the track record and wealth of experience the team brings in scaling global companies outside of Jersey is invaluable.”

Tony Moretta, CEO of Digital Jersey, said: “Benedict has been a familiar face to the Digital Jersey team for years, having been involved in schools hackathons, our Coders Club and more recently multiple tech community projects. There’s little more satisfying than seeing such local tech talent going from strength to strength, and now attracting local venture capital investment to propel Flaze onto the global stage.”

Benedict Lewis, co-founder of Flaze, added: “Our continued drive for local innovation was in part spurred by the talent shown at hackathons organised by Digital Jersey, whose advice and support over the years has been invaluable. That relationship has helped us prepare for this investment and the introduction to Faction.”

Richard Schiessl, co-founder of Feelunique and Partner at Faction Digital, said: “We’re really excited about the investment in Flaze, both because it represents our first Jersey-based investment but more importantly we believe the business is well placed to solve a real problem and capitalise on a significant opportunity in paid-for premium content. Callum and Ben impressed us from the first meeting with their passion and drive and the significant progress they had already made with limited resources to create a platform that had quickly proven the concept and was already generating revenues.”

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