Cyan Banister realized long ago that Zivity, a subscription-based online community of artistic glamour and pin-up photography that she founded in 2007, was never going to be a highly profitable endeavor. That’s okay with her, too.
In an interview last week, Banister — known for the many angel investments she and husband Scott Banister have made over the years and more newly for her role as a partner at Founders Fund — told us Zivity was “always growing, but never at a crazy rate.”
Indeed, nine years after it was created, it has amassed 3,000 subscribers who pay the site on average $250 a year to access its various photo sets.
Now, Banister and Zivity’s longtime general manager-turned-CEO, Nadya Lev, think they’ve struck on a more lucrative opportunity that can not only shine a light on the creative class but help artists get paid, too. Their new company is called ThankRoll, and it’s looking for $1.5 million in seed funding to see how far it can get over the next 18 months.
It could make for an interesting bet. ThankRoll is essentially a service that offers a convenient way for fans of artists, blogs and others to support those products and services through a white-label widget that appears on the artists’ or blogs’ site. Fans just enter their credit card information; they can cancel their pledge any time they like.