Google's Area 120 incubator is billed as a way to launch new and experimental projects. Lately, that has meant releasing weird remixed clones of Pinterest and TikTok. Now the workshop is launching its latest work: Fundo, a platform that connects fans and creators with virtual events and experiences.
I don't love the name, but once you get past that, Fundo seems like it could be kind of — dare I say it — fun? The platform lets users join interactive events with online celebs to ask questions, learn new skills, or just chill out. It's basically like video chatting, but with your favorite creators.* The website is fundo.town, which shows the community-centered vibe Google is going for here.
Users can purchase tickets to live and interactive virtual events.
Google is billing this as a service made especially with creators in mind, so there's plenty of ways to monetize on Fundo, from setting ticket prices for events to offering Fundo Meet & Greets exclusively to paying fans. And there are different ways to host events, too, whether it be solo, with guest hosts, or with fans themselves. Events can be scheduled or made based on requested times from fans.
You can even host workshops on Fundo with hand-raising and agenda features — watch out, Google Meet.
In the blog post announcing the new platform, Fundo General Manager John Gregg says it was inspired partly by a trip to Vidcon back in 2018. Seeing the enthusiasm and excitement generated by the community of YouTubers got the team thinking about ways to bring creators and fans closer together. (In a good way!)
The current pandemic wasn't the impetus for the project, but it's definitely part of the reason for getting it out now. Fundo has been in testing for a little while, but now it's launching in the US and Canada. More locations are coming soon, so overseas fans won't feel left out of the fun — oops, I did it again.
* Your favorite creators will probably not be found on Fundo.