By Marcella McCarthy
While working as a breaking news journalist at CNN, Alessandra Angelini was able to interview people from around the world. But when the news outlet wanted to interview an influencer, it was a mission to track one down. Then, Angelini’s sister, Valeria Angelini, faced a similar challenge at her own work place, and that’s when Angelini knew there was a business opportunity there.
Together with three friends, she built Influur – a platform that connects brands to influencers.
“It’s something very similar to LinkedIn where brands and influencers come together and they work in one platform. It’s a combination of a social network, a professional network and a payments platform,” Angelini told Refresh Miami.
The company, led by four Latin women, today announced the close of a $5 million seed round led by Point72 Ventures with participation from Magma Partners and H20 Capital.
The Miami-based startup also counts Sofia Vergara and Thalia as angel investors. To date, Influur has raised a total of $5,780,000.
Influur will use the money to expand in the U.S. and Latin America, where they recently launched in 8 countries.
The startup, which now already has 18 employees, makes money by charging a 10% surcharge to brands to book an influencer. To ensure that brands and influencers remain on the platform for future business, Influur built a reviews system similar to that of UpWork, where influencers get rated on each job, and the more jobs they’ve completed through the platform, the more visibility they get through the company’s algorithm. Angelini’s sister Valeria is a data scientist.
The influencer market is huge, and brands can pay upwards of $100,000 for an influencer to market their product. According to Statista, “The global influencer marketing market size has more than doubled since 2019. In 2021, the market was valued at a record 13.8 billion U.S. dollars.”
Chicken and the Egg
Like most two-sided platforms, it’s hard to get users from one group on the platform when you don’t already have users from the other group. To circumvent this challenge, the company counts on some of its investors, “many” of which are influencers themselves, who then invite their other influencer friends. Today, Influur has about 200 brands and 800 influencers onboarded.
Made in Miami
Angelini earned a master’s degree from the University of Miami, and while there, she met one of her co-founders, Paula Coleman. Together they won the university’s annual business plan competition in 2020, and that’s when Influur was born.
“For influencers, it’s the first time they have a professional network,” Angelini said.
Photo at top of post: influur co-founders from left to right: Fefi Oliveira, Alessandra Angelini, Paula Coleman, Valeria Angelini. This story was updated to correct influur’s total funding amount.