Promoty, a marketplace connecting social influencers to retail brands, launched a fundraising campaign on Funderbeam investment platform with a target to raise € 500,000. The capital will be invested into product development and expansion to five new markets in Northern Europe.
The founders Aleks Koha and Leonardo Romanello met at cybersecurity degree programme at TalTech university. This relationship progressed into the development of influencer marketplace. Koha was nominated among ten most significant young entrepreneurs by Estonian Chamber of Commerce last year. Promoty’s initial seed investment € 65,000 was engaged from Kristjan Raude and Madis Müür, both members of Estonian Business Angels Network (EstBAN). Raude is a locally established ad executive, founder of digital ad company Impact 80/20.
According to company report published on Funderbeam, Promoty reached a monthly revenue of 4000€ in December last year. This cash stream was primarily derived from Estonian influencer market. The present customer portfolio includes Circkle K, SEB, Swedbank, Wolt and many others. From public sector initiatives, Promoty’s platform was used to carry out marketing activities for 100th Anniversary of the Estonian Republic celebrations.
“We got our business model validated. It works in Estonian market with a population of 1.3 million people, that has a Russian speaking minority of 300 000 people. If it works in Estonia, it works elsewhere and the first experimentations in Latvia and Finland confirm it,” told Koha.
To increase the competitive advantage even further in comparison to agencies manually brokering influencers, Promoty plans four steps for product improvements: shift to a subscription model, development of the client-view of influencers statistics based on demographical big data, tool for long-term campaigns that fit the clients' needs, and integrating the automatic scam detecting system. "All the mentioned advancements are validated by our customers. So far we've seen that every next development is increasing our sales results," said Koha.
The big goal of raising funds is to take a position in the Nordic market. "Due to the high purchasing power, there's a fierce competition of people's attention - a large proportion of the society can afford exclusive brands, exotic trips and other luxury goods for themselves. Scandinavia is particularly striking, with the highest advertising costs per contact in the world. Since the stakes are high in these countries, we can see highly developed comprehensive influencers ecosystem. Brands wish to stand out, and influencers enable this opportunity. That's the reason for entering Nordic countries. Our technology offers the highest value in mature markets with high labour costs," he added.
Promoty's clients include both large enterprises as well as agencies like Havas or Mediabrands. According to Kelly Maltsaar, the social media specialist at Havas, Promoty has changed the market of influencers. "Finding the right influencer is quick and easy. It used to take weeks to negotiate and now we're able to start collaboration within days."
In Aleks Koha's opinion, bringing the company's shares to the public market is a natural step in its development. "Public listing allows being part of our growth and trade with our stakes. We must keep investors informed about the enterprises' future. A clear uptrend can also attract interest from customers and influencers who have joined the platform and know very well about the developments in the industry."
Global funding and trading platform Funderbeam provides raising funds for small and medium-sized high growth companies. The marketplace allows investors to trade investments anytime.
So far, € 23 million are invested via Funderbeam and the platform has more than 13 000 investors in 128 countries. Funderbeam, founded in 2013, has offices in Tallinn, London, Copenhagen, Zagreb and Singapore.