Twitter wanted to buy Clubhouse for $4 billion.

CH is still adding new users like crazy but doesn't have any stickiness and real reason for people to return to it since the content discovery experience is just horrible.

Last week it announced launching a marketplace feature allowing sponsorships for creators - aka people hosting events being able to get payments from followers. Next step is hosts selling event tickets - not implemented yet as I suspect it has something to do with Apple not letting them handle in-app payments without getting the 30% we-are-not-a-monopoly cut.

But the move seems right - creating an economy on top of a consumer tech is a smart play and this should be at least a temporary user retention fix that could transfer the stickiness problem to event organisers, aligning them with a revenue model.

This direction is what’s most interesting at Clubhouse from a TAM perspective - the ad-hoc opportunity of organising an audio meeting which you can charge for on the spot. It is the low end market for small events, launches, conferences, workshops, trainings, social media influencers, AMAs and even replaces the traditional VC cold pitching sessions. No or low setup costs and no tech knowledge required to be part for a low friction marketplace.

As for the $4bn valuation - that simply reflects a new paradigm shift in the social media, with the hope of a first mover being able to reap sizeable returns from what will be a huge ecosystem in 3 to 5 years.

Meanwhile, CH’s core proposition will soon be commoditised by all the big tech working to launch their own version of it. But they will simply grow the pie, not take from CH’ share.

And when/if this marketplace takes off, expect VC investments in CH-based projects - that’s when CH will become a platform and a16z can call it another home run.

Also note that a16z is very early investor in two of the most interesting consumer trends this years: text (Substack - valued at only $650M) and audio (CH), both marketplace driven. Both will become fundamental social media pillars, at odds with dinosaurs like Facebook and Linkedin.

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