By Evan DeSimone
Paris and Los Angeles-based ad tech startup Octoly announced today that it has raised $1.2 million in seed funding in conjunction with the launch of its new brand-creator marketplace product.
While brands have gradually learned to interact with top tier YouTube creators in the beauty and lifestyle vertical through sponsorships and free swag, it’s proven difficult to bring those relationships to scale with the mid-tier beauty creators who represent a whopping 55% of the beauty content views generated on the platform. While MCNs have made strides in bridging the gap, it’s still difficult for beauty brands to get their products into the hands of the ground level beauty influencers they want to reach.
Octoly aims to fill the gap between brands and creators with the launch of its new free marketplace for creators operating at any scale. Octoly is stepping outside of the traditional MCN model with what amounts to a free online swag bag, where brands can offer their products directly to creators. The Octoly marketplace will allow brands to build and maintain their own network of influencers.
It’s a model that Octoly has refined in its native France, where it has partnered with more than 50 high beauty brands including L’Oréal’s Urban Decay, Sisley and Sigma Beauty. Over 50% of the active beauty creators in France have already joined Octoly’s marketplace platform after just one month of beta testing, giving partner brands a substantial pool of creators to draw from. The product launches out of beta in France today with a U.S. launch scheduled for Sept. 19.