SACRAMENTO, CA: Influencer marketing software company Grin has secured a $10 million investment through Series A venture capital round led by e.ventures.
E-commerce founders and operators participated in the funding, including the founders of MVMT Watches, BV Accel, Liquid IV, Cuts Clothing and Ivory Ella.
Grin’s software allows e-commerce direct-to-consumer brands to manage and activate large networks of social influencers, traditional affiliates, athletes and customer advocates.
With this round of funding, Grin is focused on combining all these separate marketing approaches into the emerging category of "opinion leader marketing."
Grin’s tools are designed to help brands selling DTC online and have helped some of the most visible brands on social media like MVMT Watches build large followings by partnering with influencers all over the world.
This new combined approach to influencer marketing is presented as a solution to the current broken system, according to Grin CEO Brandon Brown.
"Brands are often running large scale, sophisticated programs internally while using several messy systems and tools that don’t work well together,” Brown said. “We bring the only SaaS platform that makes this process completely seamless that enables brands to manage the full lifecycle from discovery, recruitment, activation, content aggregation, reporting, analytics and payments."
As e-commerce has evolved over the last few years, so must online brand marketing. Millennial consumers are more distrustful of advertising, and most ad spend growth is being picked up by Facebook and Google, causing ad costs to rise.
“The definition of what an influencer is today is rapidly expanding,” Brown said. “Marketers used to think of influencers as Instagram models or YouTube gamers, but the influencer population is rapidly expanding to virtually any content creator.”
Grin enables brands to activate every type of marketing relationship they have, and offers features that allow brands to manage talent through the CRM portal, manage contracts and deliverables, audit security and compliance, fulfill product and manage payroll and taxes.