- Influur is a digital platform that allows influencers and brands to connect, guaranteeing timely payments and quality.
- In April, the startup received $5 million in a seed investment round led by venture capital fund Point72 Ventures.
- Business Insider Mexico spoke with its four founders – Alessandra Angelini, Paula Coleman, Valeria Angelini and Estefany Oliveira – to find out how it works and how they are promoting the role of women in technology.
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Alessandra Angelini and Paula Coleman were used to easily contacting presidents, heads of state and various public figures so they could be interviewed on CNN shows.
However, both were surprised to realize that it was not so easy to do it with influencers.
“I remember exactly how the Public Relations team approached us to see if we could reach this influencer, because they had done everything possible to be able to interview him that night,” Angelini said in an interview with Business Insider Mexico.
The then CNN associate producer ended up calling another of her friends, Estefany Oliveira, to help her. Fefi is an actress, singer and influencer with more than 9 million followers on all her social networks. Knowing the world of content creators, she passed him the contact of the manager of the influencer they wanted to contact and, finally, they achieved her feat.
“If you don’t have a Fefi around you, how do you connect with this influencer? It is very difficult, because we in the corporate world have LinkedIn, where I can perfectly contact you,” said Angelini. “In the creative world, influencers don’t have LinkedIn or a professional platform.”
The concern led Alessandra Angelini, Valeria Angelini, Paula Coleman and Estefany Oliveira to found Influur, an online platform that allows brands and influencers to easily contact each other to work on projects.
According to the company, in April it received $5 million in a seed investment round led by venture capital fund Point72 Ventures.
Other investors include actress Sofía Vergara, singer Thalía, music impresario Tommy Mottola, talent manager Luis Balager, and firms Magma Partners, H20 Capital, Latin We, and Lound and Live.
Currently, the beta version of the Influur platform is available in the United States, Mexico and six other Latin American countries.
Influur opens the spectrum for influencers and brands to connect
Although its name may infer that it is a platform focused on influencers, Oliveira, who is also the company’s Chief Influencer Officer, explained that the platform is for anyone who works in the creative area and wants to live off their talents through social networks.
“We firmly believe that there is no number for you to consider yourself an influencer. Even a person with 1,000 or 2,000 followers has some kind of influence in your life,” she said.
There are two ways a brand or individual can create their profile on Influur. The first is to receive an invitation code from someone who is already on the platform, so its popularity has been “word of mouth”.
The other way is to go to their website and fill out their pre-registration form, so that later Influur can give you access to their application. The founders of the company explained that their team validates these records every day, mainly based on whether they are true brands or influencers.
“It’s not that you can’t get on the platform if you don’t have certain things. People come in and we on the platform have ways to see if your profile is complete,” said Coleman, who is also the company’s COO.
“Not that we have anything that stops people from signing up, but the more complete your profile is, the better. That way you are going to get more jobs,” she added.
For her part, Alessandra Angelini, CEO of Influur, that this model of invitation code or pre-registration is what allows quality control.
“We want that if a medium enters and seeks to contact Sofía Vergara, they can really do it because there is that quality within the application,” he assured. “We just do it to have the best quality on the market.”
How does influence work?
After creating a profile on Influur, brands post job opportunities with the help of templates. This allows them to specify what they look for in a content creator, from where they are located, gender, age or number of followers.
By browsing the app, influencers can also search for projects they’d like to work on. In addition, the “Discovery Page” offers them recommendations for offers that might interest them.
In the brand profile, the creator will be able to see a history of the jobs that were previously closed thanks to Influur, as well as reviews from other influencers.
If the project and the company convince him, he applies. The brands, who can also see a history and reviews on the profile of the influencers, select the one that meets their needs.
When the deal is finalized, Influur puts both parties in direct contact, who communicate throughout the process until a final product is left.
“We are the medium, the marketplace, the tool. The direct communication between the brand and the influencer is between them”, said Oliveira. “What we wanted to eliminate is that third person who does not always transmit the information.”
“If a brand needs to request a modification of the content, it is requested directly from the influencer. He replies with another content. We do not control how the brand wants its content, ”he added.
Guarantee timely payments to influencers and quality content to brands
Coleman identified that one of the biggest problems that influencers still face is that many of the brands offer them work in exchange for diffusion, but not for a monetary payment.
Others are promised a certain amount of money for their work, but it can take up to two years to receive it.
To solve this problem, Influur guarantees the influencer that they will receive their full payment less than 24 hours after their work is approved by the brand.
“We always put ourselves from the point of view of the influencer. We want them to be paid because the amount of work they do for collaboration is not fair to us, ”said the CEO of the platform.
The app is 100% free for them and for the brands. However, when a company posts a job posting, they put in a quote from which Influur takes an additional 10%.
According to Valeria Angelini, who is also the Chief Product Officer, this allows the startup to guarantee that the work they will receive will be delivered in a timely manner.
“Within the platform, if there is any mishap, we know that we have those requirements, which are like our official contract. It is with what we provide security to the brand that we will support them if something was not done”, Coleman stressed.
“The important thing is that Influur is always there to solve any problem. Brands should not feel like no one is protecting them,” she added.
In addition to this type of approach, some brands, such as the media, can contact influencers through Influur for unpaid work, such as conducting an interview.
Another advantage is that content creators can contact each other, in case they are interested in doing some kind of collaboration.
“(In Influur) there is no family, no friends, no fans. It is a platform in which we all go only to work”, said Oliveira.
Influur is independent of what influencers do in their personal lives
Like other public figures, influencers are often targets of “cancel culture,” which the Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Educational Innovation Observatory describes as “withdrawing support or ‘canceling’ a person who said or did something offensive or questionable.”
Recent examples include YouTuber Shane Dawson, who was “cancelled” in 2020 because old videos of him blackfaced and risqué jokes went viral.
Alessandra Angelini explained that within Influur there are community policies that specify what things can and cannot be done, but outside the platform, “the influencer does what he wants with his life.”
“If I get into a scandal, LinkedIn doesn’t have to know about it,” he exemplified.
“Influur is the tool where they can hire the influencer, but we are not hiring them. Influur has nothing to do with it,” she stressed.
However, this does not mean that brands do not have tools to know who they are working with. The CEO reminded that the reviews, ratings and history that can be seen on the profile of each content creator is what helps them make a final decision.
“For the first time, we are giving brands all the information they need to hire the right influencer. If an influencer previously behaved very badly with a brand, another will be able to see it reflected”.
“We help brands to choose the best influencer, according to their values, but we are not responsible for what they do with their lives,” he added.
Influur also seeks to promote the role of women in technology
Alessandra Angelini participated in the last week of Miami Tech Week and what surprised her the most was the interactions she had with many men from the world of Venture Capital.
According to the CEO of Influur, they met her thanks to their wives, whom she marked reading the news that her startup obtained 5 million dollars in an investment round.
“They told me: ‘My wife who has never been involved in technology in her life sent me the article,’” he recalled. “That we can impact women to be interested in being part of technology is very important.”
“A lot of women think that working in technology is about code and engineering. No, it’s like any other company and we need more women to help us build ours,” she added.
Angelini emphasized that the startup is made up of 50% men and 50% women. It is something that the four founders want to continue to actively support women.
On the other hand, being a company founded and run by four women, Influur seeks to break the stereotype that women cannot work together.
“Of course we can create wonderful things. Obviously, each one has her own personality, but the important thing is that we all have the same goal,” said Coleman. “If you focus on the goal, all other things are resolved.”
“There are people who say that being too many causes problems. Do not! Being many is better because we will always be present”.
“With this money (the 5 million dollars) also comes the challenge of hiring the proofreading team and taking the company to the level we want. This is just the beginning,” she concluded.
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