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Famous on the internet? Startup Ghost wants to help you make money

Founder, Taolo Modisi, talks about how she plans to help independent artists monetise their talents


The internet has exposed the creativity of many independent artists and performers to the world, however traditionally there hasn't been a way for these performers to monetise their talents. 

Taolo Modisi (33), an investment banker with a passion for the arts, started working on her startup Ghost in 2014, as an answer to this dilemma. Her startup video platform targets independent artists in various genres, including music, dance, animation, comedy, stunts and overall entertainment. The trick? They must deliver their performance in a video under four minutes. 

"With content becoming cheaper, independent artists not only have difficulty earning revenue through digital platforms, but do not get as much visibility as mainstream artists," she says. 

Through the platform, performers get paid through ‘likes’ and sponsorship.

Artists will be able to set up their profile, upload videos on any one of the featured channels, provide information on gigs and create a following and track record on Ghost. 

"Innovators should be encouraged to set up businesses and work on solutions that tackle day-to-day problems that Africans face"

Based in Johannesburg and San Francisco, Modisi will launch the self-funded Ghost later this year.

Modisi's startup was also a finalist in the City of Johannesburg's #Hack.Jozi Challenge which sought entrepreneurs with digital solutions to every day challenges faced by their communities.

Taolo Modisi.

We speak to the founder about her startup's unique offering, and the need for an entrepreneurial ecosystem that encourages entrepreneurship.  

On the business model

Our business and revenue model for artists sets us apart. There is a lack of platforms geared towards independent talented individuals.

Because of our business model, we are seeing quite a bit of traction from independent artists, but given we are a new company we have to gain more brand awareness and visibility for our platform.

I want to have a number of successful independent talented individuals or groups on our platform, who are generating enough income to do what they love on a day-to-day basis, as they build a track record and grow a strong fan base.

On the need for innovators

We need an ecosystem that encourages and pushes entrepreneurship. Most university students are encouraged to work towards getting a job versus starting their own business. With the high unemployment rate in South Africa and in other African countries, innovators should be encouraged to set up businesses and work on solutions that tackle day-to-day problems that Africans face.

"I do not focus on hurdles and obstacles"

On doing what it takes

I come from a tough industry like investment banking, so nothing has really surprised me during the process.

I attribute my success to patience, passion and perseveranceI do not focus on hurdles and obstacles, but I treat them as opportunities to recreate, do better and push the business forward.

Once you’ve taken the first step, maintain your stamina to reach your goals and go all the way.

I wish I had known starting out that success doesn’t happen in minutes, days or weeks - it takes years.

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