ProductWind Raises $ 1.67 Million to Connect Your Brand to Hundreds of Influencers – TechCrunch
Some big brands spend millions of dollars on marketing each year and thus can only generate thousands of dollars in sales. At the same time, influencers direct thousands, if not millions of their followers to certain brands.
ProductWind aims to connect brands with influencers with one click. The company is building a platform for brands to launch influencer marketing campaigns. Today he announced $ 1.67 million in seed funding led by Early Light Ventures.
Co-founder and CEO Jason Kowalski is well versed in the marketing challenges that brands face. He was building Amazon’s self-service marketing platform and saw the disconnect between marketing and sales.
“We want brands to come in and 100 or 200 influencers to work with them,” he said. “Before, you could go to a platform and sort through a list of influencers and find them, but you didn’t know who would drive sales the best. It was mostly at the top of the funnel rather than the bottom.
Kowalski brought in former Uber engineer Tom Hirschfeld as a co-founder and together applied automation and other proprietary technologies to an influencer database so that brands could join the platform. ProductWind form, describe what they want to achieve and set up a 100 influencers. campaign in minutes compared to traditional weeks.
On the influencer side, they have their own platform and receive notifications when brands want to work with them. Rather than the old way of calling and texting with a brand, the influencer can see a list of available referrals, apply, and be approved. They can buy products online or organize to receive them and integrate with social media. ProductWind monitors when posts appear and then pays the influencer through the platform.
As a result, ProductWind is able to generate a better return on investment, for example by moving a product from page 5 to page 1 on Amazon, because the platform creates a flying effect: the more value created generates more sales and more influencers are joining the campaign, Hirschfeld said.
During the first 18 months of the business, Kowalski and Hirschfeld seeded the business, which was profitable from day one, Kowalski said. During this period, revenues have increased tenfold. The new funding will be invested in hiring more technology and sales employees to join ProductWind’s 15-strong workforce.
“Profitability is key for us as we produce great campaigns,” Kowalski added. “We lead marketing and sales, and we want to be the next paradigm shift. “
Early Light director Mike Leffer said the company’s profitability resulted not only from the fact that Kowalski and Hirschfeld were disjointed, but also because Kowalski had attracted some of ProductWind’s first customers by walking through a trading floor and by talking to companies even before there is a finished product. .
The status quo in influencer marketing is slow, but ProductWind is able to unlock influencer sales forecasts. Speaking to clients and potential clients, Leffer said they are already seeing value and return on investment. On the influencer side, the company is able to democratize access to the economy of creators so that opportunities are not limited to professionals only, he added.
“The business was in the right place at the right time and started from nothing to a lot of income,” said Leffer. “They met a need in the market where brands knock on their doors to launch campaigns, then a space for the designer economy where anyone can be an influencer.”
Meanwhile, as the ecommerce aggregator market continues to heat up, the U.S. ecommerce industry is on track for its first $ 1,000 billion year by 2022. At the same time, Marketing channels are getting expensive: Amazon’s advertising costs have increased by 30%. since the beginning of the year.
Ben Narasin, who recently left NEA to start Tenacity Fund, and Broom Ventures have joined Early Light Ventures in the cycle.
Narasin says the influencer market is huge and sees ProductWind as the “DoubleClick of influencer marketing”. He explained via email that the company reminded him of what he saw in the early days of the internet in the early 1990s, when DoubleClick allowed brands to bring together relevant sites in a diverse and crowded landscape with a single relationship. Likewise, “ProductWind is doing this for the ‘Wild West’ of influencer marketing,” he added.