SAN FRANCISCO — Captiv8, a data-driven Influencer Marketplace, has raised $2 million in funding. Investors include Social Capital, United Talent Agency (UTA), Subtraction Capital, Liquid 2 Ventures, Social Starts, Lone Wolf, and Jason Calacanis’ LAUNCH Fund.
The company, started by the founders of mobile ad exchange Mobclix to programmatically identify Influencers and connect them to brands, has been operating in stealth mode for the past year. Captiv8’s launch comes as Millennials have reshaped the way content is created and consumed. Platforms such as YouTube, which reaches more Millennials than any U.S. cable network, have become a main source of entertainment. With the top 10 creators on YouTube having made a combined $54 million in 2015, according to Forbes, it’s clear that a new Hollywood has emerged where “democratizing the celebrity” is a more potent force than ever. These Influencers have a tremendous amount of clout over their millions of followers, providing an enticing channel for brands to have authentic engagements.
Brands leverage Captiv8’s artificial intelligence platform, Marketplace, to make smarter buys by discovering and matching with talent based on real-time audience data across social platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Vine, YouTube, and Facebook. The analysis includes factors such as geography, household income, ethnicity, age, and gender to predict which Influencers will generate “Oprah Effects” for brands. Automation enables a scalable approach for identifying trends, engaging Influencers, launching content, and optimizing advertiser goals.
Marketplace is complemented by Captiv8’s SaaS platform, Insights, which makes it simple for brands to understand their audience, optimize content, benchmark against competitors, and grow their fan base across social platforms.
Captiv8 Co-Founder Krishna Subramanian said, “Millennials don’t want to be talked at; they want to be told a story that takes them on an emotionally connected journey. Captiv8 uses predictive data to drive authentic brand engagement. 2016 will be the year brands will invest over $1 billion dollars in Influencer marketing.”
Jason Calacanis, founder of LAUNCH Fund said, “Influencer marketing has been a manual, tedious and time-consuming process historically, but Captiv8 is streamlining it into a platform that scales. The team at Captiv8 has done this with three other startups over the past decade, so they’re in the pole position to make this an ‘at scale’ opportunity. It’s very exciting.”