Nas Academy, a Singapore-based platform founded and led by Palestinian-Israeli creator Nuseir Yassin of Nas Daily fame, has raised $11 million in a Series A funding round to back content creators worldwide and build tech tools for the creator economy.
The round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with backing from San Francisco-based early-stage venture fund 500 Startups, Tel Aviv-based TechAviv Founder Partners, Israeli pre-seed VC firm FreshFund, angel investor and entrepreneur Balaji Srinivasan, formerly a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, entrepreneur and OYO founder Ritesh Agarwal, angel investor and entrepreneur Emilie Choi (president and COO at Coinbase), and US vlogger, influencer, and creator Markian Benhamou, founder of SmileSquad.
Nas Academy was founded in 2020 by Yassin as a platform for video creators to productize and monetize their knowledge and create their own courses and start their own academies for learners worldwide. The platform offers classes and courses on entrepreneurship, storytelling, editing, with price points ranging from $49 to $499. Bundles of 2 or more courses for discounted rates are also offered
Nas Academy was created after Yassin amassed tens of millions of followers and fans across social media platforms as part of Nas Daily where he posted 1-minute, daily, often-charming videos for 1,000 days on a range of topics and issues (from environmental issues to social and cultural norms, racial tropes, and historic wrongs, to gender bias, identity politics, curious habits, relationship dynamics, culinary trends, and cool travel experiences.)
Yassin grew up in the northern Israeli-Arab city of Arraba and went on to study at Harvard before becoming one of the most successful content creators on social media over the past five years. His videos have included hard-hitting content about his home country, Israel, and the complex realities of living in one of the most politically charged environments in the world.
In a post from Yassin, who serves as Nas Academy CEO, he lays out his vision for Nas Academy and the creator industry in general. With over “50 million creators on the Internet today,” a number that is expected to grow, the idea is to empower creators by building technology products for them
“We call it ‘CreatorTech,'” he writes. “It is the idea that technology should put Creator First, and not only Customer First. It is the idea that Creator brands should be preserved and their value should be rewarded. CreatorTech also recognizes how hard it is to be a Creator and doesn’t expect you to sacrifice mental health to stay relevant.”
The focus will be on education and cohort-based learning, not on sales, he emphasizes.
“We believe Creators can decentralize Education like no other and replace traditional Education. We believe people are a lot more inspired to learn from People Who Actually Do than from People Who Never Tried,” he writes in the post.
The funds will also be used to hire more Nas Academy team members and open additional offices.
“The excitement for the creator economy is huge, and the trust in the Nas brand is also good. Those two things have worked well for us,” Yassin told Tech In Asia.