Tubestart was founded by Josef Holm and Claude Shires in 2013. Holm, a crowdfunding advocate, and Shires developed the idea for Tubestart after creating their own YouTube channel and seeing how expensive it could be to produce and film a video for the site. According to Fast Company the channel was called "StandUpBits, where they posted exclusive, stand-up comedy clips from a library of more than 3,500 that they’d acquired. The site was popular: Within weeks, it received a million views. But moneywise, that added up to about $2,000 from AdSense ... Not nothing, certainly, but considering they still had $25,000 worth of editing to do on their videos, it was clear that the venture wasn’t going to pay off." They tried other crowdfunding websites, but none appeared to be suitable for the task of raising money to offset production and editing costs.
Tiffany Bain wrote of the company that, "Tubestart is a crowdfunding startup that bridges the gap between lack of ad revenue and the money it takes to launch a professional Youtube channel by allowing its users reach their specified goals through subscription-based crowdfunding. Using this crowdfunding model, users can host monthly or recurring investment campaigns – opposed to one-time campaigns offered by mainstream crowdfunding businesses – to fund their projects continuously. On Tubestart there are no barriers. No business plans needed, no significant wealth prerequisites, no gatekeepers to tell you “no,” according to Holm." The website officially launched in August 2013.
Tubestart provides crowdfunding by having "fans pledge a small monthly fee to support creators of You Tube content" according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. According to Andre Bourque, "With the Tubestart model, supporters are rewarded with a variety of perks, depending on their donation amount. Things like autographed DVDs, early viewing rights, even producer credit attribution. In a recent campaign, for example, $50 will earn you a 30-minute Skype call with the video team. Tubestart is set to be open and available to video creators in the U.S. and Canada, as well as Europe." Holm has stated that, "As a creator, you don’t always need a huge 90-day goal, you’re just asking for support along the way. This method helps promote the community feeling from all the people who want to help make it happen."
According to IndieWire, "Supporters can pay between $5 and $150 monthly, often in exchange for exclusive bonus content. Various conventional crowdfunding campaigns are already underway from between $500 and $500,000." In November 2013 Tubestart partnered with Fullscreen, "the largest network of independent content creators for You Tube from across the world", according to Calvin Azuri.