The D’Amelio’s, ‘TikTok’s first family,’ launch new creator economy venture

The D’Amelio family has built one of the most followed and lucrative social media empires, with sisters Charlie and Dixie being the highest earners on the short-form video platform TikTok.

The family’s next venture is aiming to leverage that knowledge of social media to create new brands for the maker economy.

“We started a $50 TikTok promotion with Charlie and then it went into the big deals,” Mark D’Amelio said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “Now we’re starting this brand company where we’re going out and building a bunch of different brands and owning IP.”

The new project, D’Melio Brands, will create its own brands in a variety of industries including fashion, beauty and lifestyle, which are 100% family owned.

The venture also announced a $6 million seed round that includes investors Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin, entrepreneur Richard Rosenblatt and Apple Senior Vice President Eddie Q.

The D’Melio family first rose to prominence when their youngest daughter, Charlie, gained popularity on TikTok, at one point becoming the most followed producer on the platform. According to Forbes, Charlie and his sister Dixie were named the highest-grossing TikTok-ers of 2021, earning a combined $27.5 million.

“TikTok has been incredible,” Mark D’Amelio told “Squawk Box.” “I think as they start getting involved in doing more advertising, and you can add Shopify to that, it’s going to be a revenue stream for big creators and small creators.”

Since the family’s rise to fame, they have been featured in their own reality television show, “The D’Amelio Show” on Hulu, which has been renewed for a second season. The sisters have also worked with various fashion brands including Prada, Burberry and Puma.

D’Amelios is hoping to leverage his expertise and knowledge of the maker economy with this new venture that proves few brands will pay for social media exposure. Mark D’Amelio told “Squawk Box” that his daughters can earn up to six figures for each of their posts on social media.

In March, she also announced the launch of a new $25 million VC fund aimed at supporting high-growth companies with a focus on women and minority-led startups.

TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, has rocked the social media landscape and is now disrupting other industries as it has become a hit-making machine. Last fall, the app said it topped 1 billion monthly users. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that 67% of teens in the US use TikTok, and 16% said they are on it almost constantly.

The producer economy is a growing force in the markets. According to Statista, the global market size is estimated to be over $13 billion, and is primarily focused on a younger generation, a key demographic for Charlie and Dixie, who are 18 and 21 years old respectively.

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