Australian influencer marketing startup Tribe raises $7.5M as it eyes US expansion

Tribe, which helps brands acquire content from so-called “micro-influencers,” has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding.

The startup was founded in Australia in 2015 by TV and radio host Jules Lund, who told me he was responding to the growing demand for branded content.

“Brands are desperate for content,” Lund said. “When you have a hundred customer profiles and the ability to be hyper personalized and targeted and social, you now need 100 beautiful pieces of content. Creative agencies can’t supply that at the right cost and the right turnaround, and stock images are the antithesis of personalization, because they don’t feature your brand.”

As for how Tribe differs from all the other influencer marketing companies out there, Lund noted that it’s a purely self-serve product, where brands post their requests — either for an “influencer campaign,” where the influencers are creating content and promoting it to their followers, or a “content campaign,” which is just about creating the content — then users submit their work and get paid if the brand decides to use it.

Plus, the brands on the platform aren’t sending free stuff to influencers who may or may not be a good fit. Instead, Tribe is connecting them with influencers who already own (and presumably like) their products.

“Tribe’s role is to simply unlock all of that branded content that sits within people’s iPhones and Samsungs,” Lund said. “The micro-influencers are looking in their pantry or their wardrobe, looking at the apps in their phones, all of these products that they already use.”

Tribe says it’s already working with brands like Unilever, L’Oréal and Marvel and generating more than $250,000 worth of branded content every day. And while the United Kingdom is currently the company’s biggest market, the United States already accounts for 20 percent of the more than 50,000 influencers on the platform.

With the new funding, Tribe is officially launching in the U.S. and opening an office at One World Trade Center in Manhattan, which will be led by CEO Anthony Svirskis. He said the money will also allow Tribe to continue investing in its product.

“With TRIBE we’re finally seeing influencer marketing done right,” said Chris Burch, founder and CEO of investor Burch Creative Capital, in a statement. “The U.S. market has been waiting for a tech platform like this for years and as soon as we heard they were launching stateside, we knew we needed to be a part of it.”