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bemyfriends Receives KRW 22.4 Billion Investment from CJ Group, Accelerating Leadership of Creator Economy


Strategic partnership will see CJ Group brands and IPs use b.stage to build bespoke fandom platforms

Will also help CJ Group strengthen global direct-to-consumer marketing through NFT and AI technology

SEOUL, Korea – May 10, 2022  Global fandom business startup bemyfriends has announced that it received a 22.4 billion Korean won investment from leading Korean lifestyle company CJ Group and its affiliate, the IT service management company CJ OliveNetworks Co., Ltd.

The partnership will see bemyfriends and CJ Group work together to maximize synergy and strengthen their leadership of the global creator economy. In line with those efforts, the companies have agreed to use bemyfriends’ bespoke platform builder, b.stage, to enhance the projects and infrastructure of CJ Group and its affiliates.

In particular, bemyfriends will work closely with CJ Group's B2C brands and entertainment IPs, which include music, videos, and the multi-platform network DIA TV. The company will also be proactive in identifying opportunities to introduce its fandom platform-building global software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution to CJ Group’s wide network of external partners.

"Following the recent global launch of our bespoke platform builder, b.stage, the timing of CJ's investment in bemyfriends couldn’t be better," said Steve Seo, co-CEO of bemyfriends. “We will lead the expansion of the creator economy by combining b.stage with CJ Group's diverse range of content, technology and infrastructure."

"The creator economy, which allows creators and brands to directly communicate with their fans and generate profits, is expected to continue to grow, and CJ's rich IPs and brands have a competitive edge," said a CJ Group official. “We will actively cooperate with bemyfriends and lean on its professional solution and capabilities to take the lead in the global fandom business market."

The creator economy, in which creators use their content to make money from fans, is growing rapidly as social media and media platforms continue to mature. According to market intelligence firm CB Insights, funding for creator economy startups from January to June of 2021 was a record $1.3 billion – more than triple that of 2020. Creator economy startups focused on paid services in particular are growing faster than others.

Against this backdrop, bemyfriends and CJ Group have agreed on the need for a direct-to-consumer platform that directly connects creators, brands and companies to their fandoms. Based on this investment, the companies will begin collaborating on various solutions and infrastructure alliances.

CJ Group has specifically proposed alliances that will focus on IPs and brands in the entertainment sector. The alliances will connect b.stage to potential customers across CJ Group's vast network of entertainment IPs, brands and external partners, including influencers, music and video companies, which arguably have the greatest need for bespoke fandom platforms. 

b.stage makes it easy for any creator or brand to build their own platform, and offers them complete ownership of whatever they create. The solution includes differentiated functions ranging from exclusive content to limited-edition merchandise sales and subscription membership services, and also provides owners with the support they need to directly engage with fans and streamline monetization.

In addition, the two companies plan to upgrade b.stage’s creator ecosystem using CJ Group's technology and infrastructure. Specific areas of focus will include NFT planning and production, automatic clip creation, an AI-powered function for blocking harmful content, e-fulfillment-based logistics services, and connecting CJ Group’s b.stage-powered platforms to offline stores.

bemyfriends officially announced b.stage’s global launch on April 21, 2022. The solution supports all activities in which creators express themselves, share content, communicate with fans, and generate profits. It also allows creators and fans to form more meaningful relationships, helping to realize the true promise of the creator economy era.

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