substack on phone with background of money

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Substack sparks debate after asking creators to invest in the company

A few well-known creators have already joined the investment round, while others are skeptical.


Patricia Grisafi

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 30, 2023   Updated on May 30, 2023, 9:59 am CDT

Substack is stirring up controversy with its latest business proposal: allowing writers to invest in and own a piece of the popular newsletter company. In light of last year’s struggles to fundraise in more traditional ways, Substack is looking to its own writers to help them out financially—specifically to raise $5 million. 

In a blog post sent to creators, Substack’s founders explained to its community that they were asking for investments because they are “serious about building Substack with writers” and “it not only provides something good for our company but also presents an opportunity for the people who use Substack to participate in the benefits that come from building this network.”

The company also notes “the past couple decades of the internet have created a media system in which writing has been economically devalued and advertisers have been served above all others.”

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*First Published: Mar 30, 2023, 1:00 pm CDT