Kickstarter has made a rare foray into acquisition land today with the news that it has snapped up Vancouver-based video-streaming startup Huzza. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded in 2015, Huzza helps bands and musicians connect with their fans using live video. Through the platform, artists can schedule a live video event and make it public or offer it exclusively to select fans. Additionally, artists can chat with fans and answer questions through the platform.
Kickstarter actually partnered with Huzza late last year for the launch of Kickstarter Live, a new tool that enables creators to livestream demos of their products to the world. It seems the tie-up worked out well, as Kickstarter elected to buy the platform outright three months later.
“When we first experienced the product they built, it immediately struck a chord,” explained Bridget Best, operations SVP at Kickstarter. “It was intimate, it inspired personal connection, and it was clear how it would strengthen the best parts of Kickstarter while bringing our community to life in new ways.”
Given that Huzza is based in Canada, Kickstarter is opening its first international office outside the U.S. with a new office in the Gastown neighborhood of Vancouver. Huzza’s two founders, Justin Womersley and Nick Smit, will now work on developing Kickstarter Live and building out a team to help grow the product.
Founded in 2009, Kickstarter is arguably the poster child for the crowdfunding industry, having helped creators raise billions of dollars to build products. The New York-based company has what it calls a “F**k the monoculture” philosophy, proclaiming that it prioritizes cultural ideology over profits. Indeed, it has raised very little VC funding, and in 2015 Kickstarter Inc. was replaced by Kickstarter PBC, a public benefit corporation.
Today’s news comes almost a year after Kickstarter made its first ever acquisition, snapping up music fan community Drip shortly before it was due to close.
As these two acquisitions show, Kickstarter seems pretty committed to building the community facet of its business — connecting those who make things with those who buy and consume them.