Brandnew, a Berlin-based startup that helps brands create native ad campaigns for Instagram and Pinterest, announced that it has raised a total of $1.9 million in seed funding. This includes a $1.1 million grant from the city of Berlin, as well as $845,000 from investors including PubliGroupe, Berlin Ventures, and Lukas Kirche. Brandnew plans to use the funding for technology development, marketing, and signing new brand partnerships. The startup’s current clients include Coca-Cola, Adidas, Ford, Uber, and L’Oreal.
The grant from the city of Berlin comes from the Program for the Promotion of Research, Innovation and Technology (Pro FIT).
Brandnew uses technology to automate the process of finding influential users on Pinterest and Instagram. Then it approaches them about participating in its network for native advertising on the two social media platform. The company says that it will soon implement a new tool to allow brands to search through a network of social media users based on specific criteria.
To be sure, there are plenty of companies that also connect social media users with brands. Brandnew CEO Francis Trapp says that his startup’s main competitors include Tinker Street, Instabrand, Mobile Media Lab, Totems Connect, and Niche, but differentiates by giving European brands an inroad to potential U.S. consumers.
“These are all mainly based in the in the United States and we feel that we have a strong hold on the European market with the possibility to gain more strength in the United States as we have a large network of influencers from all around the world, meaning we don’t have to focus our campaigns on any one region,” says Trapp.