Gumroad

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Gumroad, Inc.
IndustryDigital distribution, self-publishing, e-commerce.
Founded2011; 10 years ago (2011)
FounderSahil Lavingia, Sachin Khanna
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California, U.S.
Area served
Worldwide
Websitegumroad.com

Gumroad is a self-publishing digital market place platform to sell digital services such as books, memberships, courses and other digital services.

Founder Sahil Lavingia in 2010

History[edit]

Sahil Lavingia built the first iteration of Gumroad over a single weekend in 2011. Lavingia, who was previously the first designer hired at Pinterest and the designer of Turntable.fm, was 19 years old at the time.[1][2][3]

The idea for Gumroad came to Lavingia when he wanted to sell a photorealistic icon he had created and realized that the amount of effort it took to sell an item directly to consumers was considerable. He decided to build a service that would make the process as easy as sharing web content.[4]

In February 2012, while still the sole member of Gumroad, Lavingia announced a $1.1 million seed round from a notable group of investors including Accel, Chris Sacca, Max Levchin, SV Angel, Josh Kopelman, Seth Goldstein, Naval Ravikant and Danny Rimer.[5]

Three months later, it was announced that Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers had led a $7 million Series A round for Gumroad. The investment was the first made by former Twitter engineering head Michael Abbott as a KPCB partner.[6]

On September 8, 2014, Twitter announced its first commerce product, the Buy Now button, in partnership with Gumroad,[7] the Buy Now and Gumroad partnership was discontinued on January 7, 2017.[8]

On September 30, 2014, Gumroad released its first mobile product, a utility iPhone app that acts as a mobile library for content purchased via Gumroad.[9][10]

Creators on Gumroad[edit]

Many major and independent musicians have sold products via Gumroad, including Eminem,[11] Bon Jovi,[12] Garth Brooks,[13] David Banner,[14] Ryan Leslie[15] and others..

Magnolia Pictures distributes a curated selection of films via Gumroad.[16] Landmark Theatres also curates a selection of films distributed via Gumroad, including Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Man on Wire, Gonzo, Page One: Inside the New York Times, and Jesus Camp.[17]

Best-selling authors like Tim Ferriss,[18] Chris Guillebeau,[19] and John Green[20] also publish their books on Gumroad.

Payment method[edit]

Gumroad utilizes Stripe payment services to handle pay-ins via credit card and pay-outs via debit cards and bank accounts.

Controversies[edit]

Connections to alt-right personalities[edit]

Since 2021 Gumroad permitted the creation of a donation page for the podcast Mad At The Internet which is a podcast presentation of content featured on the Internet Forum KiwiFarms, known to be connected to incidents such as Chirstchurch mosque shootings of 2019. The podcast is presented by the administrator and owner of KiwiFarms Joshua “Null” Moon, the usual content of the show is the presentation of doxxed information and other forms of organized group trolling, harassment, and stalking, including real-life harassment by listeners of the show. Harassment stemming from KiwiFarms has been implicated in the suicides of three people targeted by users of the site.[21]

Other controversial, but to a lesser extent content creators, found on Gumroad are comedian and professional polemist Sam Hyde and controversial prank comedian Frank Hassle. This content creators also have faced deplataforming actions from major platforsm due to their content being considered to be dangerous and/or harmful such as the banning of Frank Hassle's YouTube Channel after he harassed and stalked YouTube personality Steven "Boogie" Jay Willians.[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Holmes, David. "Who’s Next: Pinterest Designer Sahil Lavingia and His New E-Commerce Site Gumroad", Fast Company, 25 April 2012.
  2. ^ Tsotsis, Alexia. "Gumroad Gets $1.1 Million From Chris Sacca, Max Levchin and Others to Turn Any Link Into a Payment System", TechCrunch, 8 Feb 2012.
  3. ^ Shontell, Alyson. "The Most Interesting Teenager in Silicon Valley", Business Insider, 2 April 2012.
  4. ^ Holmes, David. "Who’s Next: Pinterest Designer Sahil Lavingia and His New E-Commerce Site Gumroad", Fast Company, 25 April 2012.
  5. ^ Tsotsis, Alexia. "Gumroad Gets $1.1 Million From Chris Sacca, Max Levchin and Others to Turn Any Link Into a Payment System", TechCrunch, 8 Feb 2012.
  6. ^ Gannes, Liz. "Kleiner Perkins Leads $7M Funding for Payments Upstart Gumroad", All Things Digital, 7 May 2012.
  7. ^ Brustein, Joshua. "Explaining Twitter’s New ‘Buy’ Button", Bloomberg Businessweek, 8 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Twitter is phasing out the "Buy" button, will continue to offer donations". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2021-09-22.
  9. ^ Ifeanyi, KC. "Online Marketplace Gumroad Launched An iPhone App", Fast Company, 30 September 2014.
  10. ^ DBW. "New Gumroad iPhone App Helps Authors Sell EBooks Direct", Digital Book World, 30 September 2014.
  11. ^ "Eminem on Gumroad". Gumroad. Archived from the original on 2016-04-07.
  12. ^ "Bon Jovi’s Gumroad Page", Gumroad
  13. ^ "Garth Brooks’ Gumroad Page", Gumroad
  14. ^ Popper, Ben. "Girl Talk goes Gumroad: a web payment startup woos pop stars", The Verge, 17 August 2012.
  15. ^ "Ryan Leslie’s Gumroad Page", Gumroad
  16. ^ "Magnolia Pictures", Magnolia Pictures
  17. ^ "Landmark Theatres", Landmark Theatres
  18. ^ "Tim Ferriss’ Gumroad Page", Gumroad
  19. ^ "Chris Guillebeau on His New NYT Best Seller, Writing, and the Road", Gumroad Blog
  20. ^ "Things I Can Do" Archived 2014-12-14 at the Wayback Machine, John Green’s Blog
  21. ^ "The Worst Site on the Web Gets DDoS'd After Being Connected to Prominent Developer's Suicide". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2021-09-22.
  22. ^ Bain, Ellissa (2020-09-29). "What happened with Boogie and Frank Hassle? YouTuber gun feud explained!". HITC. Retrieved 2021-09-22.

External links[edit]