SEAN ‘DIDDY’ COMBS INVESTS IN REC, A RESOURCE HUB FOR CREATORS

SEAN ‘DIDDY’ COMBS INVESTS IN REC, A RESOURCE HUB FOR CREATORS

REC founders

REC

In 2023, Philadelphia-based startup REC, also known as REC Philly, will call Miami it’s second home as they launch REC Miami behind their partnership with Diddy. Located in Little River, a neighborhood adjacent to Little Haiti, REC Miami will bring a 12,000-square-foot creative facility equipped with multiple recording studios, photo/video production studios, editing bays, podcast studios, dance studios, design studios, an event venue, coworking space and the in-house production equipment needed to create high-quality media.

Sean Combs Capital invested $2 million into REC leading the round and aiding in their current expansion. Combs Enterprises will not only utilize REC’s spaces but also plans to tap into the creative talent to amplify the brands under his umbrella. With his investment, REC joins Combs Enterprises Portfolio of investments.

“Our goal is to make sure that independent creators have the information, tools, and resources needed to win and level the playing field,” said Sean Diddy Combs. “This partnership is about the future of the creator economy and helping REC expand to serve more creators in cities and countries around the world.”

REC was founded in 2015, by Forbes 30 Under 30 recipients Will Toms and Dave Silver as a creative incubator and creative agency ecosystem that exists to empower independent creators to build sustainable and scalable businesses. It is a physical space and digital platform designed and dedicated to providing creators with the resources, community, and opportunities that they need to fully cultivate their passions. With one thousand active members and brand partnerships including Live Nation, Comcast, and Cash App, REC is proving that its “creators first approach” is impactful and profitable.

Since its inception, REC’s model has helped pay out nearly $2 million directly to members of its community by way of its creative agency. This is a win for creators of color given the ongoing issue of pay gaps on major social media platforms. In 2020, influencer marketing agency SevenSix conducted a survey that reported 56% of Black respondents believed that their ethnicity negatively impacted the amount they earned. In 2021, global communications firm MSL found that the racial pay gap between white and BIPOC influencers was 29% and 35% between white and Black influencers.

Tarik Brooks

Combs Enterprise

REC cofounders Will Toms and Dave Silver along with Combs Enterprise president Tarik Brooks sat for questions with For(bes) The Culture. The questions have been curated and edited for clarity and brevity.

For(bes) The Culture: Why is it important to invest in Black creators and creators of color?

Tarik Brooks: Black creators are the soul of creativity in American culture. We have to acknowledge how systematic racism has impacted our community and then create solutions to counter that. I know Diddy is committed to using his platform and network to help make change and uplift Black creators.

For(bes) The Culture: How did REC get started?

Dave Silver: We have produced thousands of shows in Philadelphia and around the country. And we realized the challenges that we had at that time were how to figure out the business and how to get paid to be ourselves and to be creative. With us living with those challenges as well as trying to find a community of like-minded creative entrepreneurs. So, we got a warehouse in north Philly where we could meet our own needs.

For(bes) The Culture: What is holding Black creatives back from getting the exposure they need?

Will Toms: There is a culture of gatekeepers, and gatekeepers feel if artists or creators want to get to a large audience, they need to give up ownership and IP. This scenario isn’t a level playing field for Black creatives. So for us, we needed to create something that gave Black creatives a place to get the resources they need without those gatekeepers.

For Toms, Silver, and their team, Philly and Miami are just the beginning of the fast-growing REC vision. The collective is actively seeking leaders in cities around the world to bring the model to the next.

“Our key focus is turning artists and creators into creative entrepreneurs. We’ve known since the beginning that we weren’t just solving a Philadelphia problem. Access to resources, strategies, and opportunities is a global challenge for creatives everywhere, and with Diddy’s support, we’re excited to bring our solution to communities beyond our hometown of Philly,” said Will Toms, Co-founder of REC.

Learn how to get involved with REC at JoinREC.com

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